When, and When Not, to Use Position Descriptions

April 6th, 2016 by David Simms

Categorized as: Election Tips

Position Description Best Practices

On a Board of Directors, it’s pretty common knowledge what the roles of President, Treasurer, Secretary and Director are. But occasionally something is voted on that requires a little explanation. This is almost always the case for things like referendums for changes to bylaws and the like. For these occasions, ElectionsOnline’s online voting software supports the ability to provide a full position description. This is nothing more but a link that appears directly under the position name (or referendum as the case may be) that, when clicked, opens a smaller browser window in which the voter may read a full description.

As an election administrator, you may login to your account and toggle whether to display the link to a full position description since it is one of the position properties found under the Manage Positions link associated with an election. By default, the setting for the link to a full description is set to no, and should remain that way unless you have a compelling reason for changing it. If you do set it to yes, be certain to populate the description window with an actual description. Too many times I’ve seen full position descriptions enabled on a ballot, but the election administrator just left the description blank. Nothing should appear on the ballot that isn’t immediately helpful to the voter, and having a link appear that when clicked opens a smaller browser window that is completely blank isn’t helpful and can trigger phone calls to your office from confused voters.

Just like the ability to toggle the display of the link to a full description between yes and no is a position property, so too is the description itself. This means it’s managed by election administrators at the Manage Positions link after logging into your client account. So the dos and don’ts regarding display of full descriptions are:

  1. Don’t set the display of full position descriptions to yes unless you really intend to.
  2. If you do set it to yes, make sure to provide a full description rather than just to leave it blank.