The Presidential Commission on Election Administration recently presented the current administration with a series of recommendations designed to help state and local elections officials improve the voting experience.
We believe all organizations – associations, co-ops, credit unions and more – can use these principles to improve the voting experience for their members and voters. Here are some of the recommendations from the committee and how they may apply to your organization’s voting process:
- Voters should find the electoral process accessible and dependable
Consistency is key. Use proven methods, but be prepared to adapt to keep your elections convenient, unfailing and attainable for all so they work for everyone in your organization.
- Voters should not need to wait more than half an hour to vote
In other words, be properly prepared for your election and make the process snappy and efficient.
- Ballots should be simple to understand and well-designed
Your rules and bylaws may require that a great deal of information appear on your ballots, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be streamlined and designed to inspire voters to take informed actions.
- Voter rolls should be accurate
If your member information is out of date, you will not reach all potential voters. Clean up the information you have and be sure it’s kept up to date.
- The voting information provided by officials should be clear and comprehensive
All election information provided to your organization’s voters should be concise and easy to understand.
- Ballots delivered by mail should arrive in a timely fashion and tracked from delivery to return
Not only does mail tracking inspire confidence in your voters, it ensures your organization keeps track of ballots from start to finish for a secure chain of custody.
- Military and overseas voters should receive ballots on time and be confident that any election authority has received them in time to be counted
If your voters are far away from the source of the election, it’s your job to assure them their voices will be heard. Make sure you have a reliable process in place to make sure every vote is counted.
- Polling places should be well-equipped, well-organized and accessible
Whether your voting takes place in person or online, make it as easy to vote as possible.
- Poll workers should be well-trained, informed and should supply useful guidance, answer questions and resolve any issues as they arise
Any individual involved in the elections process should be trained and have the information necessary to competently interact with voters and keep the election on track.
- Accommodations should be made for populations requiring specialized support (i.e. voters with disabilities or limited English proficiency)
Again, every vote counts and when you make the extra effort to include voters who may otherwise feel marginalized, you continue to build champions of your organization. SBS is ADA Section 508 compliant, ensuring that all members using our online voting systems are able to vote.
Survey & Ballot Systems stands behind the idea to make elections convenient and inclusive to all members of the organizations we serve.
Does your organization have election mantras such as these? If so, how do they guide your elections? Let us know in the comments below!
And if you have questions as to how your organization might implement similar ideas with your member elections, contact us any time. We’re here to help.