Innovation: the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods. (Source: Merriam-Webster)
The simple answer to the question, what makes ElectionsOnline the leading innovator, is, well, innovation. But the claim isn’t just puffery. Beyond the claim, some hard examples support the case for ElectionsOnline being the election service other election services want to be when they grow up.
- One competitor—and this is one of the “Big Three,” not a second-tier provider—announced the ability of their system to base an election off a previous election’s setup years after ElectionsOnline had been doing the same to help clients streamline and expedite snag-free election setup.
- I once had the pleasure of being a voter in an election hosted by another election service provider. The voting instructions on the ballot were so similar to ElectionsOnline’s sample ballot (which predated the existence of the competitor’s system in this case) as to have made me wonder if they just copied and pasted! Admittedly some problems have only a limited number of solutions, but in this case the overall “visual digestibility” and language used on the ballot pages made me feel like I was passing through a watered-down copy of the ElectionsOnline ballot.
- Another competitor once announced their system now supports ballot weighting. Again, something that has been part of ElectionsOnline’s online voting software for so many years I can’t remember the service not supporting it.
- Self-administration was introduced to the market by ElectionsOnline in 2004. Six years would pass before another major player in the election service space would catch up.
- Only one election service provider publishes an application programming interface (API) to permit deep integration with external systems. That would be ElectionsOnline.
- And the number one thing that creates greater separation between ElectionsOnline and everyone else, no other system comes close to matching the same level of election integrity through bona fide ballot verification and election certification.
These are just a few examples and lest you have the impression that it’s seen as ripping off the leader, let me disabuse you of that notion. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
I’m not sure what’s next, but if history’s any indication, whatever it is, it will come first from ElectionsOnline, because wanting to innovate, and actually knowing how, are two different things.