Inyo County, California Has a Solution for Mobile-friendly Election Results

Featured image: iPhone

Due to the convenience and popularity of smartphones, election officials know how important it is to publish civic information in a mobile-friendly format.

And while it’s helpful for everybody, mobile friendliness is truly essential to reach people who are “smartphone only” and areas where broadband internet access is limited.

One such place is sprawling, rugged, sparsely populated Inyo County, California. Here, Clerk/Recorder/Registrar of Voters Kammi Foote has found a solution for providing election results in a clean, mobile-friendly format using the Election Toolkit’s Who Won What? tool.

In the past, Kammi’s office published results in only one format: PDFs. It’s common format, but it comes with limitations.

“Before using this tool,” Kammi explains, “we only had the ability to upload static PDF reports of vote totals. For members of the public that were using a mobile device, these reports were difficult to view and required a download onto their device to access.”

Kammi wanted to publish results that would display in a browser, requiring no downloads. Plus, she wanted the display to scale, fitting the smaller screens of smartphones and tablets.

Inyo County courthouse building

The Inyo County Courthouse, home to the office of the Clerk/Recorder/Registrar of Voters

Kammi heard about Who Won What? when it was still being developed. Recognizing that it might be a solution, she volunteered to experiment with the tool and give feedback.

Although it might seem complicated at first glance, the tool is actually pretty simple. It consists of just 3 parts: a spreadsheet in which you edit election results, an htm file that displays the results online, and a PHP script file that makes the spreadsheet and display work together.

Once the tool is set up, displaying election results is as easy as editing a spreadsheet.

“I set up the tool myself,” Kammi says, “and it only took me approximately an hour to populate the spreadsheet with information from our most recent election.”

Soon, her new, mobile-friendly results page was ready.

Simple, black-and-white display shows vote counts for president and vice president, with other results available below

Inyo County’s new results display on a mobile device

Understanding the value of providing information in more than one format, Kammi decided to offer both the PDF and the new, mobile-friendly versions on her website’s election results page. People can use whichever format they prefer based on their needs and their devices.

Kammi was drawn to Who Won What? for its mobile friendliness, but it has another big advantage over PDFs: you can use it to update results live on election night. As results come in, you can update numbers in the spreadsheet, and they’ll automatically update in the display.

Kammi is glad to now offer results in a more accessible format, and she recommends Who Won What? to others.

“Reporting election results is one of the most important responsibilities for an election official,” she emphasizes. “The Who Won What? tool can really help election officials who want a mobile-friendly solution for clear and precise results reporting. This tool is easy to set up and does not require any device downloads to view results.”

Are you ready to move past PDFs for posting election results? Take a look at Who Won What? and consider if it might make your results reporting a little easier.