How to Double Your Election Participation

Increase ParticipationIf the participation rate of your organization’s elections hasn’t increased from election to election, you’re not alone. Elections are vital to member organizations and they’re also prime opportunities to engage your members. So, who wouldn’t want to double their election participation this year?

One of our specialties is helping you find the right mix of participation methods, promotions, education and incentives so you can rapidly gain higher participation rates by proactively managing what you’re doing to encourage voter response.

Here’s what we recommend you focus on to send election participation numbers soaring:

  • How can members participate?
    Are you offering members the option to participate in the election in a way that’s convenient for them? If your organization has always relied on traditional voting methods (i.e. paper ballots or in-person voting), it may be time to survey your members to find out if you can make it easier for them to vote. Perhaps it’s voting by phone or online or a hybrid of methods. When your organization makes it as effortless as possible for members to cast a ballot, you’re more likely to see election participation rise.
  • How are you utilizing technology?
    Adopting a wide range of technology goes hand-in-hand with offering members multiple ways to participate in elections – the more convenient options they have, the more likely they are to vote. Single sign-on and embedded login links make voting quick, easy and secure, while mobile-friendly voting and QR codes allow members to vote on the go. Social media promotion enables members and candidates to spread the word about the election to their friends and fellow members.
  • How are you promoting the election?
    Your organization should promote elections just like it would any other event or marketing promotion. If members aren’t aware of the election, who is running or how they can vote, participation numbers can remain stagnant. Build a solid strategy to promote the election (including a promotions calendar), use a variety of reminders in many formats (postcards, emails, etc.) and use your internal communications department to creatively spread the word.
  • Who’s running in the election?
    Provide in-depth details to members about the candidates running in the election. The more information members have about who’s running, the more likely they are to cast a ballot. We’ve seen great success with organizations using video biographies, candidate open houses and meet the candidate events.
  • What are you doing to incentivize voting?
    Yes, voting is a privilege and a responsibility of membership. But your members are busy and many need an extra nudge to cast their ballot in the organization’s election. Encouragement can come in the form of giveaways, donations to a local charity, discounts on member offerings and more. Show members what’s in it for them and they’ll often respond by casting their ballots.

Skeptical that it can be done? Learn how two of our clients, Kootenai Electric Cooperative and Medina Electric Cooperative, were able to follow these steps to double participation in their elections.

Ready to double election participation this year? Download the free eBook, 10 Expert Tactics to Increase Election Participation, or feel free to contact us any time. We’re here to help.