News

St. Louis County, Missouri Uses Facebook Live for Voter Education

Election offices using social media — once a novel idea — is now well established as a best practice for civic communication. But while Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts can be a great way to provide quick updates and display your office’s personality, sometimes you need more breathing room to get complex information across. That’s... Read more

November 22, 2017

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Kurt Sampsel

Helping to Build a Voting Time Estimator

Everyone in the election field knows how important it is to minimize waits at the polls, and in recent years, we’ve seen big advances in using data to help predict and avoid polling place stress. But while there’s a lot of research on overall wait times, there’s little data out there that addresses one critical... Read more

October 5, 2017

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Kurt Sampsel

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

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,... Read more

September 15, 2017

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Kurt Sampsel

The Toolkit at 1 Year

Last month, the Election Toolkit turned 1 year old. To mark the occasion, we’re looking back at the Toolkit’s origins as well as its growth and impact during this first year. We’ll also hear from members of the team who created the Toolkit about why it continues to be an exceptional resource for the election... Read more

July 26, 2017

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Kurt Sampsel

Updates to Text Messaging and Video Tools Keep the Toolkit Fresh

Maintenance might not be flashy, but it’s important. We understand that ensuring the Election Toolkit is a helpful resource means keeping it up to date. That’s especially a challenge with some of our off-the-shelf tools, which take commonly available technologies and then add instructions and guidelines for applying them to civic engagement tasks. When those... Read more

June 5, 2017

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Kurt Sampsel

San Francisco Department of Elections Explores the Voting Timer App

Although it’s often invisible to voters, an incredible amount of planning and coordination goes into the voting experience. At the San Francisco Department of Elections, working to ensure a trouble-free experience at the polls is top of mind for people like Jonathan Aaberg. He’s discovered how the Voting Timer App — one of the newest... Read more

May 5, 2017

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Kurt Sampsel

Voter Registration Drive Kit Adds Graphics in English, Spanish, and Chinese

The Voter Registration Drive Kit — a collection of guidelines and materials to help community groups register new voters — is the most bookmarked tool in the Election Toolkit. But until recently, the Kit had just 4 social media graphics, and they were available in English only. Now we’ve expanded the collection to 10 graphics,... Read more

March 17, 2017

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Kurt Sampsel

Publicizing Voter Registration Events in El Paso County, Texas

The El Paso County Elections Department understands that effective community outreach means meeting people both in person and online. To spread the word about voter registration events, they’re using social media as well as materials from the Election Toolkit’s Voter Registration Drive Kit. “We like to be involved with our community as much as possible,”... Read more

February 14, 2017

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Kurt Sampsel

Virginia Boosts Impact of Pocket Guide with Civic Icons and Twitter

Shouldn’t a guide for voters fit in a pocket? A few months ago, when Paul Stenbjorn, Tanya Pruett, and Rob Vance of the Virginia Department of Elections started to work on updating materials for the 2016 election, making a true “pocket guide” was their goal. They wanted to slim down their 19-page “easy voter guide” from... Read more

January 11, 2017

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Dana Chisnell

Civic Icons and Registration Posters Help Voters in the Aloha State

Images are a powerful way to reach voters. They grab the eye, can communicate information more quickly than text, and they’re great for illustrating steps in a process. That’s what Raymund de Vega discovered this past fall when using two of the Election Toolkit’s image tools to connect with Voters in Hawaii. Raymund, who is... Read more

November 29, 2016

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Kurt Sampsel