Educate the electorate, boost member engagement and increase voter turnout
Does your association want to improve turnout at its next election? Do you want to increase the levels of voter engagement and participation in the electoral process? Then you need to speak to electoral services specialists like UK Engage. UK Engage, as part of the award-winning Print Image Network, has more than 12 year’s combined experience in the field of election services, and has participated in and supported in hundreds of electoral processes each year. In our experience the success of any election isn’t simply attributable to careful and meticulous planning: education also plays a pivotal role too. Voters need information if they are to make informed choices and to feel involved in and part of the election process. Here are five practical suggestions for educating the electorate, boosting member engagement and increasing voter turnout.
Governance and integrity
Every election, regardless of the arena, needs to be transparent and must engender a sense of trust in the electorate. Voters will be less likely to cast their votes if they do not feel engaged and part of the election process. That’s why it’s vitally important to involve voters in the electoral process right from the start. The best way to achieve this is by devoting a section of your website to the process itself. Your association will be able to build trust with its membership and explain how it maintains integrity throughout the voting process. Give voters all the information they’ll need so that they are aware of election will work and how long the electoral process will last. The point is to make the election process easy to understand, so the information on the governance page needs to be clear and concise. If it helps you could also break the information down into subsections and include diagrams and lists of Frequently Asked Questions.
Any changes your association is considering making to the electoral process need to be clearly explained. It is beneficial to explain these changes as early as possible, so voters are aware of them before the election process begins. If your organisation is introducing e-voting for the first time, or incorporating it alongside a conventional postal ballot, then you need to make voters aware of these changes, and explain how the new system will work and why the changes have been introduced. If voters clearly understand the mechanisms behind the process then they are more likely to be prepared to cast their votes.
Voters are less likely to vote if they are unaware of the importance of the election, so your association should make every effort to promote active participation in the electoral process. The best way to promote the election is through publicity. The publicity should promote your organisation’s democratic principle and clearly explain how each member’s vote can make a difference. Any publicity should be included on the section of the website devoted to governance and should also be added to the online voting section if e-voting is going to be used in conjunction with postal ballots. Communications experts like UK Engage can coordinate publications to help your organisation promote its election.
Help your voters make informed choices
If you want voters to make informed choices, then you will need to give them all the relevant information. Therefore it’s important to give voters information about the candidates, their backgrounds and what they stand for. This information can either be included on the organisation’s website or available through downloadable offline documentation. Through the innovative use of online and offline communications UK Engage is able to engage with your members and use your events and publications to emphasise the importance of the election and to introduce your members to both the process and the candidates.
Choose the shortest and most–appropriate election window
The longer the electoral window, the more likely voters will lose interest. Election windows should therefore be as short as practical, but they must also be sufficiently long enough to ensure that every potential voter has the opportunity to gather all the relevant information about the election in order to make a reasoned and informed choice. The length of any voting window will depend on the Rules, the complexity of the electoral process and the number of candidates.
UK Engage offers a wealth of expertise in all aspects of electoral services, voting, surveys, scrutineering, adjudication services, member engagement and referendum management. If you are looking for expert electoral services advice, then look no further than UK Engage.
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