Your spell book to increase voter participation
There’s no sugarcoating it, this year has been downright scary. The sudden switch to all virtual meetings, the major changes in how member organizations do business, the implications for voting come election time – it seems everything is different.
But one thing remains the same – member organizations report their election participation is frighteningly low. That’s bad for organizations, and it’s not good for the democratic process that propels them.
But we’ve got a book of spells (supported by 30 years of experience) that will help your organization increase participation in your next election.
Spell One: Timing is everything
Schedule your vote wisely. Be aware of the holidays and milestone dates such as back to school time, traditional vacation time, national events and presidential elections, etc. The less your election has to compete for attention, the better.
Spell Two: Stay front of mind
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice – remember the 80s movie where all you had to do was say his name three times in a row and the outrageous spirit would appear? The same principle applies to your election. Remind then repeat.
For members who don’t use or have email, send paper ballots, letters, or reminder postcards. For members online, send email reminders. Each participation reminder can increase voter turnout up to 5 percent!
Spell Three: Provide digital options
The possibility of adding online voting haunts many member organizations. Bylaw changes, legal research, member preferences … it all seems very overwhelming and not worth tackling.
BUT numbers don’t lie, and giving members the option to vote online increases participation in your elections. Many organizations continue to offer traditional paper ballots and add a secure online voting option for a hybrid election. Sounds like Frankenstein, looks like election success.
The key is to go where your members are and most of them are spending time in digital spaces like online, email, and social media. If increasing election participation is an area of focus, providing digital voting options is something you must look at.
If getting your members to vote is a house of horrors you dread entering, let us help! We guide you through the hair-raising anxiety to a place of comfort, candy, and increase election participation numbers. Contact us today!
Since joining SBS in 2011, Tony has led company communications, branding, and product launches, maintaining SBS as the go-to for governance solutions. He regularly hosts educational webinars and speaks at national trade association events across the United States. Tony’s expertise has earned him media recognition, with features in outlets like Rural Electric Magazine, The Association Adviser podcast, Associations Now, and NBC’s King 5 Mornings in Seattle.