3 Tips for Linking to the Ballot

August 5th, 2014 by David Simms

Categorized as: Election Tips, Increase Voter Turnout

Tips for Linking to the Ballot

One of the best practices for increasing voter turnout requires creating a link on your own web site that takes voters directly to the ballot login page. That’s a simple enough thing to do, but there are some best practices and tips that can be employed to ensure this link works to maximum effectiveness.

For starters, the destination the link should point to, is for any client hosting the election on the ElectionsOnline web site. If you’re taking advantage of the voting software’s API which permits integrating the ballot into your own web site, then obviously what you’re using as the ballot login page would be the link destination.

The HTML code for creating a link to this page is:

<a href=””>Vote now</a>

That code would make the text Vote now appear as a link on a web page that when clicked takes the user to as the destination.

Now that you know the link, what should be done with it?

  1. Place the link prominently on the homepage.
    Assuming your organization has its own web site, a link to the ballot would ideally be placed prominently on the homepage while the election’s in progress. If screen estate on the homepage is at a premium, or it otherwise just isn’t possible to include a link to the ballot on it, a secondary page somewhere on the site is the next best thing.
  2. Customize the link to your election.
    You may add variables to the link so the destination page displays the name of your election. Do this by adding the election variable to the end of the URL so the link would look like:

    In this example, Annual Election is the name of the election and including it in the URL like that will cause the login page to display it as the heading. Notice the character string “%20” between the words Annual and Election. That is URL encoding for a blank space and should be used in all spots where words need to be separated.

  3. Add language variables
    The system permits configuring an election in up to three different languages. But that only takes effect once a voter’s logged into the ballot. To show the login page itself in multiple languages, you simply add the languages variable to the end of the URL and assign it one or more of the language codes accepted by the system. English is the default language, so nothing special needs to be done for that, but as an example, to display the login page in Spanish, the URL would look like:

    To show multiple languages, you simply provide a comma-delimited string of language codes, so Spanish and French would look like:,fr

    You may include the languages variable and the election variable together for a URL that looks like:

    Notice that appending multiple variables to the URL requires an ampersand between them as in the example above. The allowable language codes supported by the software are:
    • Spanishes
    • Portuguese (Brazilian)br
    • Italianit
    • Frenchfr
    • Germande
    • Chinesecn
    • Englishen

These links work just as well in HTML-formatted emails as in a web page so if you’re sending emails using your own tools, you may use them there also. These features exist for a reason so by all means, take advantage of them as it will help provide voters with a level of comfort seeing the expected election name and language when visiting the login page.