ElectionsOnline’s software offers the ultimate in flexibility for configuring a ballot to present different positions to different voters. It does this through two configuration tools; 1. voter groups and 2. special interest groups. Read more about how and when to use each.
By using these two tools, election administrators can, and many do, conduct two entirely separate elections simultaneously so long as the start and end dates match. There are some compelling reasons for doing this.
- Pricing is based on the number of eligible voters. The more voters there are in a voter roster, the less per voter you pay for the election. So by consolidating multiple elections into one, and having one large group of voters instead of multiple smaller groups, you reduce the cost per voter.
- Simplified administration. Simply put, it’s just easier to oversee one election instead of multiple elections. There are less dates to deal with; less voter rosters to keep straight; less testing to do; and less bouncing around the election administrative area to set things up.
- It can increase voter participation. If you have voters eligible in one large general election and also smaller special interest group elections, each election can help increase the participation in the other. A voter is very likely to vote in a special interest group election simply by virtue of having a special interest in that group, whereas there may be something of a disconnect between that same voter and the larger, general election. In this case, by placing all the positions on a consolidated ballot, the voter participates in a general election when he might otherwise not.
- It simplifies the voting experience for the voter. And above all else, that really is what it’s all about. It’s much simpler for a voter to login one time and make a single pass through a ballot, than to have to repeat the process multiple times for multiple elections.
While many clients recognize when their voter roster needs to be subdivided into subsets for a single election, fewer think to use the same tools for doing that as a way to consolidate multiple elections into one. But the reasons above, and especially the final one, are compelling enough to warrant serious consideration and perhaps even some bylaw revision if necessary in order to take this approach.