Your online voting initiative can take many routes. You may be interested in amending your bylaws, coming to agreement on a new policy, or electing a new leader for your board or council. Depending on what decision you need made, it’s important to consider how you present your choices. When a vote on leadership is involved, candidate statements and profiles can help your voters make more informed decisions while painting candidates in the best possible light.
What is a candidate statement?
If you are conducting your vote online, chances are that candidate profiles are a feature built into your online voting platform. Candidate profiles showcase your potential leader’s talents, skills, and experience. However, if your candidate statement of intent isn’t professionally written, it could harm their chances of being selection come ballot open day.
A well-written candidate statement is clear and concise. It also informs voters of your candidate’s intent and reason behind running. Candidate statements are a necessary component of successfully running for leadership positions because they share the steps a candidate will take in order to tackle major organizational issues.
Here are a few tips on how you should go about writing this statement:
1. Engage voters with a brief introduction
Perhaps the most challenging part of writing a candidate statement is saying what you need to say within a given amount of characters. Keeping your introduction short and impactful is crucial to grabbing your voter’s attention. Briefly tell your story and mention why it’s so important for you to be running for a leadership position in this year’s election. Besides basic information such as your title and years at your organization, consider answering these questions as well:
- What has prepared you for this position?
- Why do you feel so passionate about holding office?
- What unique skills and experience have you had that will make you the best person for the job?
2. State organizational challenges and their impact
Your voters will want to know how your potential position in office will impact them. If you are focusing on a specific issue at your organization, take a little time to explain it here. The more knowledgeable you are on important subjects such as these, the more dedicated and motivated you will seem to your voters. Be sure to include, in high-level terms as much as possible:
- Describe a similar situation where you had success and how you achieved it.
- Explain to your voters why the issue they’re facing has to change and why.
- Describe the positive changes that the organization will experience once these issues are handled.
3. Describe the steps you’ll take to address these challenge
Now is your chance to get down to the details. This part is arguably the most important because it’s where you “sell” yourself (or rather, your promise) to your voters. You’ve shared your skills and expertise, and also presented the issue at large. Prove that you have your voter’s best interests in mind by briefly outlining the steps you will take to improve the struggles they face.
- Provide your voters with the steps you are planning to take that will make the changes needed.
- Explain any goals you have for the organization moving forward.
- Reiterate your respect for the position and what it entails.
- If you are allowed to use them, add testimonials from colleagues about your work ethic and characteristics that make you a great candidate for the job.
4. Package yourself for presentation
Once you’ve written your candidate statement, be sure to go over it a couple times to ensure that everything reads correctly. If you need to, ask a colleague to review it for grammatical errors and get their feedback on what you’ve written.
Next, you’ll want to meet with your election administrator to get a better idea of additional materials needed for statement submission. Most online voting platforms let you upload a photo with your candidate statement, so it’s always a good idea to have a professional headshot on hand. If you don’t have a headshot, there are many online resources available that will teach you how to take a professional looking photo using your personal phone or camera.
If allowed, speak to your election administrator about possibly previewing what your candidate statement looks like on the ballot. You may need to trim down your statement or adjust your formatting to fit within the designated area.
Both of our online voting products, eBallot Essential and eBallot for Business, allow candidates to showcase their statements, biographies or resumes on the ballot. This is an ideal option for election administrators or organizations who need to run a people-focused election and who want to present as much information on the choices as possible, so voters can make the best decision.
For more information on candidate profiles as well as our other capabilities, click here.