UK Engage has a wealth of experience in the field of electoral management and has participated in and supported hundreds of elections for public sector organisations, including NHS Foundation Trusts, social housing authorities and universities. Our experience in providing electoral services means we understand one of the key factors involved in boosting voter turnout is making your members feel engaged and involved in the process itself.
But how can your organisation hope to improve voter turnout?
What strategies can you use to better engage with your audience and encourage more active participation in the election process? Careful planning and communication of your election strategy will help provide members with a voting experience that is straightforward and hassle-free, prerequisites for encouraging voter turnout. Here are five suggestions to better promote your election and engage with members.
Communicate your election message.
No organisation can ever hope to engage with its members if it doesn’t promote and publicise its election clearly and in a timely manner. Yet, promotion isn’t simply about telling members when the election will be held and who is standing: it’s about explaining to each member why they should vote and stressing the message that each vote is vital. As part of a multi-channel communications strategy, advertising your election prominently on your website’s homepage will raise awareness, as this is the area of your website that is likely to get the most traffic. The election information needs to be clear and concise, and tell members everything they need to know about the election process. If you are using internet voting, or incorporating it alongside a conventional postal ballot, then you need to make voters aware of this, and explain how the new voting channel will work and why the changes have been introduced. Ideally the website should use banners and clear click-through buttons to direct your members to the voting site.
UK Engage can assist with the internet voting online branding of your website. We can also help with any election publicity, and can work independently or with your internal marketing function to coordinate marketing support to help your organisation promote its election.
Send welcome emails.
If your election campaign includes any internet voting then welcome emails to remind members about the election early on in the process are often used to inform, engage members and send voter codes. Email messages can also be effective in engaging members as they can be tailored and personalised to the recipient. Carefully crafted emails can guide members through the process and clear and easy-to-follow links to the voting site can provide further information. Members who have to search for user ID and passwords are less likely to vote.
Send postcard reminders.
If your organisation is running a conventional paper ballot which also incorporates internet voting, then postcards or letters to members who are not able to be contacted by email can be a simple, yet effective tool to remind them about the forthcoming election. A combined post and email approach ensures that everyone will be notified about the start of election and given all the necessary information about how to vote.
Improving voter turnout for internet voting.
Use memorable passcodes and user identification codes.
UK Engage recommends the use of unique voter codes for each election, in certain instances member ID codes may also be issued as they can be easier to remember and therefore use.
Connect members to a members-only website.
If your members are already familiar with logging on to your members-only website, then UK Engage would suggest that you direct members there. We can offer services which will connect your members-only section with the voting system, so that passcodes can be transferred and voters can bypass the usual login screen for voting. Further information about the election can also be included in this section.
Electoral management services from UK Engage
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.