Integration: which channel is best for voters?
There can be few who would argue that digital communication and marketing has not had a profound impact on existing business models. Indeed, the benefits are being recognised by election managers across the UK; as digital communication, which has so successfully transformed the way most private sector organisations communicate with their customers, becomes accessible to the public sector in the form of internet voting.
Nevertheless, UK Engage has found that whilst the ease and cost benefits of internet voting are attractive to those running elections it is indeed the electorate that demands a cross-media choice in terms of how they cast their votes.
As the importance of member engagement rises electoral services supplier UK Engage has reacted to this demand, ensuring ballot papers become more engaging; a move which has served them well and seen voter turnout increase in numerous elections. We see this as a clear indication that printed communication still has a central role to play in election success and must be seriously considered in any cross-media election process.
In addition, UK Engage understands that internet voting has significant benefits, as NHS Trusts’ desire to introduce internet voting for Foundation Trust elections would confirm.
- Internet voting can reduce costs when it is implemented effectively with conventional methods. It can save return postage costs for those organisations whose members choose to vote online and it has the potential to save money on outbound postage where an organisation’s members opt to receive their unique voting code by email rather than post.
- The e-voting system itself is modern, quick, intuitive and convenient, and its interactive nature allows viewers to access content about candidates, election statements and candidate videos in real-time. Not only does the system appeal to the younger members of the electorate, it is also increasingly attractive to a growing number of silver surfers.
- Internet voting combines well with most other traditional voting channels. In both the Homes for Haringey and Kensington and Chelsea Tenants’ Management Organisation elections we were able to combine postal balloting alongside SMS text voting. In the City University Students’ Union election we were also able to combine conventional polling station voting alongside e-voting.
- Internet voting is secure; in fact it has the same level of encryption as https credit card transactions
- E-voting reduces impact on the environment, saving on paper costs and wastage
- Internet voting is accessible, for example allowing partially-sighted users to scale up voting pages on screen.
In conclusion, we believe that a single channel approach to elections, whether that’s internet-only or print, is no longer a sufficient or practical option: a proportion of requests we receive ask for complimentary integrated methods of voting using a multi-channel approach. Indeed UK Engage’s experience in the recent elections for both Homes for Haringey and Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation suggests that greater response rates and voter turnout are achieved by adopting a multi-channel approach, which combines internet voting alongside conventional ballots.
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, or would like further information on how a multi-channel marketing approach which combines e-voting, telephone, SMS, and / or conventional postal balloting could benefit your organisation then:
Contact us on 0161 209 4808 or email firstname.lastname@example.org