Election Tips | Online Voting | Leadership

Political Parties Should Go Online to Improve Voter Participation

For high turnout, it’s extremely crucial that your constituents know exactly how to participate, when, and where.
Sarah Diamond
Written by Sarah Diamond

"vote here" sign at polling location

We work with many local and state government agencies to ensure their voting events go smoothly. The most important aspect of setting up an election for these groups is to have the right tools in place to guarantee voter participation.

A challenge most organizations are all too familiar with, high turnout is a product of careful planning, strategic outreach, and great communication. It’s extremely crucial that your constituents know exactly how to participate, when, and where.

The Oklahoma State Election Board is a perfect example of a political party equipping voters with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. How did they do it? They ensured that all voters had access to an election information hub. Election information hubs are websites that house sample ballots, poll information, and candidate information.


Online election hubs are not the only way to boost turnout. Elections must be accessible to all voters, and most times physical locations are not. Long lines, hours of operation, and transportation issues are just some of the reasons why voters end up not participating. Moving the voting process online guarantees that anyone with a desktop or mobile device can cast their vote and gives voters a better chance of participating since they can do it anytime, from anywhere. According to this article by WPR, Wisconsin is turning to online voting to help with their endorsement process.


If you do choose to move your city council or state department’s voting process online, you must consider notifying your voters through email or another accessible method to make sure they are aware of the upcoming vote. Email notifications can be tricky and must be timed perfectly to reach as many potential voters as possible (more on optimizing emails here). When optimized, email notifications are a great tool to provide your constituents with information on candidates and polling information.


Using these online election tactics can help political organizations, local councils or governments:


1) Anticipate election outcomes. If you want to get a good idea of how your election will turn out, consider eBallot’s online voting platform to see endorsements in real-time. You’ll also be able to run multiple rounds of voting in a short amount of time, due to our quick ballot setup.


2) Improve voter outreach. Informed voters make better decisions. Email notifications, as well as a customizable voter interface, makes eBallot the ideal choice for political organizations. As stated early, well-constructed email campaigns make it easier to provide ballot instructions and give you much easier access to voters.


3) Segment long voting events. Even if your voting event takes place over days or even weeks, you can move part of your election online to make it easier for voters to access. This is what’s known as a hybrid election, and many organizations have found success in setting up their elections like this because it makes them accessible to different individual’s needs.


If you would like to anticipate the outcome of your upcoming election, or even improve voter access and participation, try eBallot’s solution for state and local government. Take a tour of our product here, or access our Knowledge Base for more specific answers.


Originally published Jun 28, 2018, updated June 29, 2018

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