How Simple, Modern Tech Powers Citizen Engagement
ORLANDO, FL (April 13, 2021) – Recent elections highlighted longstanding challenges facing election officials at every level from coast to coast. Even with their speedy and valiant efforts to pivot during the pandemic, voters were confused and frustrated as changes were made to voting periods, places, and policies. “Am I eligible to vote by mail?” “Where is my new polling place?” “When is early voting available?” These and many other questions inundated already stretched election offices.
There’s a better way to reach out to voters.
We can order coffee online and pick it up piping hot. We can snap a photo of a check to deposit it. With a few taps, we can book a flight and have a car outside within minutes to take us to the airport. We can buy that last-minute anniversary gift (we’ve all been there) and have it arrive wrapped at our door the next day.
It’s 2021, and consumers have become accustomed to, and expect, convenient, frictionless experiences. Yet, governments have largely struggled to keep pace. There are valid reasons as to why this is, but we can skip over those and jump straight to the solution: simple, modern technology.
Public facing technology has been available and evolving over years to empower customers to easily manage every aspect of voting. Best of all, with web-based applications, election officials are able to meet their customers where they are. Even in their living rooms at midnight, we can make it easy for customers to access any bit of information about how to vote, when to vote, where to vote, what’s on the ballot, and so much more.
For decades, the Civix team has been on the leading edge of election software solutions. All of them come together in a beautiful symphony through our online public access site: My Voter Portal. The web-based application guides citizens seamlessly through every voting process – just short of actually casting their ballot. And it’s all customized to the individual and their jurisdiction, providing them with the most current, relevant information. It even shares directions on how to get to their polling place from their home.
Empowering citizens in this way builds voter confidence, promotes transparency, and improves perception of government. It also relieves burdens on election management offices by (1) allowing voters to access information on their own, (2) automating and speeding up processes, and (3) digitizing traditionally paper forms.
As industry veterans, at Civix, we understand the challenges election officials are up against and can help overcome them. Beyond decades of experience supporting elections, we occasionally get to work on the front lines. Our team regularly volunteers at polling locations during the elections and it is a powerful reminder of what all this work is really about: facilitating the most fundamental principle of our democracy – participation in the democratic process.
Recent COVID-era elections demonstrated the power of My Voter Portal to do just that. Many states expanded access to absentee and mail-in voting, changed polling places to accommodate social distancing, and widened early voting periods. Each of these policies created a cascade of challenges related to everything from logistics to public awareness to budgets.
Those states using modern technology, like My Voter Portal, were better able to serve their customers and meet their high expectations amid the turmoil. One of the most powerful ways was by simply providing clear and accessible information. Our system proactively notifies individuals when a change occurs that is relevant to them. Another great example is our Absentee/Mail-in Ballot module, which allows voters to log into their voter porter to easily register for ballots online and to track their status, increasing transparency and voter confidence and reducing Election Office call volume.
The public sector has long been in the review mirror of the Ubers of the world. But modern technology, like My Voter Portal, allows government to instantly catch up and deliver the 21st century experiences that customers expect. It’s good for voters. It’s good for election administrators. It’s good for democracy.
Learn more by visiting our Voter Registration Page.