EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Nothing turns out voters like a hotly contested presidential race, and local governments across the U.S. are preparing by putting voter information front and center on their official websites. The online government innovators at Vision today shared how cities and counties are gearing up for Election Day on November 8th.
"Smart local government leaders are making their websites focal points for voters looking to find information on polling places, hours and issues," said Ashley Fruechting, Vision's senior director of marketing. "They're allowing residents to access election information at their convenience and freeing up municipal staff who might otherwise be burdened with phone calls and visits. Local government agencies now have numerous communication channels available to them, including social media, emails and offline campaigns. When a website serves as the central repository for all information, it makes it easier to ensure that all these channels deliver the same message."
In addition to highly publicized national and state races, local governments also must prepare for a wide variety of local contests, measures and special propositions. Vision identified five strategies being used to effectively prepare for Election Day 2016.
- Let residents know you're on it. The City of Hibbing, Minnesota uses their home page hero image to let residents know the information they need and want for Election 2016 is on the website. A click on the image brings visitors to a central page with links to candidate affidavits, voter registration materials, polling locations and other election resources.
- Make a simple adjustment to your website during election season. Carver County, Minnesota updated their homepage by adding an Elections action button among its other top-requested navigation items. The button, which can easily be removed or replaced after the election, takes visitors to an election information page.
- Share important facts with your community. Park City, Utah uses its "In the Spotlight" feature to let voters know that the election will be conducted by mail and provides a link to further details including ballot drop locations and voter assistance centers. Without this key information, Park City voters would be more likely to pick up the phone and ask about their polling location. Park City officials took the initiative to post this important voter information on their website well in advance of the actual election date.
- Shine a light on lesser-known voting issues. In the City of Grand Prairie, Texas, Election Day includes a special vote on the sale of parkland. Since this topic is unlikely to receive much media coverage, the city highlights the issue under Top Stories on its homepage, and then links to a page with detailed information on the proposition. Other outreach efforts include a link to the webpage as well, keeping all communications in sync.
- Avoid last-minute breakdowns by planning ahead. With less than 3 weeks to go before Election Day 2016, Vision encourages all city and county government leaders to think about the general election information and important details residents need. Are they easy to find on your website? Are they linked to other communication channels? Is your website setting your agency up for a successful election?
"Preparation is key to ensuring a smooth Election Day," said Fruechting. "Local leaders need to take the time now to make sure that their websites and their communities are ready for November 8th."
For information about Vision's transformative government website technology, please visit visioninternet.com/inforequest or call 888-263-8847.
Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., Vision is a national leader in government website development with more than 700 government, non-profit and education clients in U.S. and Canadian communities with populations that range from less than 1,000 residents to more than 5 million. For more than 20 years, Vision has created cost-effective solutions that increase government efficiency, transparency and interactive communications with citizens. The company's powerful, easy-to-use visionLive™ content management system continues to evolve with feedback from hundreds of municipal clients. In 2016, Vision was named to Government Technology magazine's GovTech 100, a listing of leading companies developing innovative or disruptive offerings to improve or transform government. The company also was named a top 10 company serving local government by Engaging Local Government Leaders in its 2016 ELGL Choice Awards.