News

Measuring voter wait times in Arapahoe County, Colorado

Nobody likes long waits on Election Day. For voters, waiting a long time to cast a ballot is a big inconvenience, and it can discourage people from participating. For poll workers, it adds unwelcome stress. And for election administrators, it often brings negative attention — even if they did their best to cross their t’s... Read more

October 14, 2016

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Kurt Sampsel

A smarter way to coordinate polling places in the Tar Heel State

Wake County, North Carolina has 202 polling places, and staffing them requires more than 2,000 Precinct Officials. In the lead up to Election Day, coordinating all of these people and places is a major challenge for Angel Perkins, who works as Recruitment Coordinator for the Wake County Board of Elections. Recently, to tackle this challenge,... Read more

August 31, 2016

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Kurt Sampsel

Faster, more accurate election results in Hardin County, Iowa

Election Day doesn’t end when the polls close. That’s when the important work of calculating election results and reporting them to the public begins. Voters want to see the impact of their participation. Candidates are eager to see their prospects for victory. And local media representatives want facts for the election stories that they’re working... Read more

July 25, 2016

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Kurt Sampsel

Twitter and Hootsuite help the Boston Election Department reach voters

For many election officials, social media have become an important part of their voter outreach efforts. Using social networks to provide civic information can help to integrate elections into people’s busy lives. That’s why the Boston Election Department uses Twitter. Kyron Owens, who is the Democratic Member of the Board of Election Commissioners, says that... Read more

July 14, 2016

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Kurt Sampsel

Creating civic engagement tools that include all voters

Creating website and tools in the Election Toolkit taught us a lot about meeting the goal of welcoming everyone, including voters (or election staff) with disabilities. First, there's the basic accessibility of the website. Then, we added information to the instructions for each tool about how to make the public outreach materials accessible. Finally, there's a work in progress of finding tools for the Toolkit that are also accessible. Read more

June 27, 2016

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Whitney Quesenbery

Infographics help voters prep for California primary

Kammi Foote, Clerk-Recorder-Registrar for Inyo County, California, has recently gained recognition for helping to inform voters beyond the boundaries of her own county. Using the Infographic Design tool, Kammi created an infographic to help No Party Preference voters prepare for the June 7 California primary. Spreading quickly across social media, her infographic reached countless voters.... Read more

June 15, 2016

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Kurt Sampsel

Inspired by Disney: Measuring Wait Times

Tim Tsjuii, Deputy Director of Elections, Guilford County, NC, got the inspiration for a way to measure wait times in polling places during a family visit to Walt Disney World in Florida -- another place where waiting in line is a familiar experience. Inspired by Disney's method, Tim adapted it to election administration, using a mobile app called TimeStation. Read more

February 18, 2016

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Whitney May

How we created Election Tools

Creating ElectionTools involved election officials at every step. The work started with brainstorming and ranking activities to define the most pressing needs they're facing in the 2016 elections. At one workshop, in less than an hour, the group generated 277 ideas for tools. That's a lot of sticky notes! Read more

February 8, 2016

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Whitney May