It is now possible for clients to publish election results directly on the ElectionsOnline web site. Historically, results have been available only through the My account section so communicating those results to your voters meant having to either copy the results over to your own web site or otherwise disseminate the results through whatever means worked for you.
This new feature obviously eliminates the hassle of communicating the results as it’s now as simple as just pointing to a unique link specific to an election’s results. That link is provided for clients in two places. One is at the Election settings page of My account, under the Publish results heading. Or secondly at the election results page itself within My account.
Obviously some clients will wish for results to not be publicly available. While it’s virtually impossible for anyone to guess an election’s distinct results URL, it’s also possible to disable publishing results to absolutely guarantee they can’t be seen publicly. Results publishing is an election property, and like all election properties may be managed at the election settings link of My account. The default setting is to publicly publish the results, but simply switching the setting from Yes to No, ensures no one will be able to view results other than the election administrator.
Results have gotten more complex over the years. What that means is that in the earliest years, the results were nothing more but the count of votes received by each candidate. Then it included the number of ballots cast each day throughout an election. Next, the ballot permitted accepting comments from voters, and that comment report became a part of results reporting, and finally, and on the horizon, results will be able to be broken down by voter group or special interest group when applicable. That compounds the amount of information which may be included in election results and creates the potential for an enormous amount of information to be republished by a client! Fortunately it’s all available from a single link that is ready for viewing at the moment an election concludes. As a client, you needn’t do anything more than just direct voters and candidates to that link.
But there’s more reason than just the elimination of hassle to take advantage of public results publishing. It lends credibility to an election when voters see you’ve retained the services of an independent, third-party election specialist to conduct your election. Extending that credibility boost from the ballot through to the results reporting can further provide a level of comfort in your voters and candidates.