for you, or send them yourself. (Regardless of who does the
sending, it’s possible to send them in real time to only those
who haven’t yet voted.) No matter how much an election service provider does to penetrate spam filters, there always will
be a better likelihood of e-mails reaching the recipient when
they originate from within the association’s own domain. Therefore, while there’s slightly more work involved when the association sends the e-mails, it is what I recommend. The most
important thing to remember is that you have two seconds
from the time a voter opens the e-mail to the time he or she
clicks delete. That means the voter must be engaged quickly
by the subject line and the opening text in the body of the e-mail. An election service provider should be able to provide a
sample e-mail that’s been proven effective. It also instills confidence in the voter to receive a confirmation e-mail at the
moment a ballot is cast.
A lot of progress has been made in recent years in getting
elections online. Associations once focused their concerns solely
around security and preventing double voting. These things
still are of paramount importance, of course, and we should be
no less concerned about them today. The key is to choose an
election service provider that has done a good job of establishing the Web as a secure and viable medum through which to
conduct a private election. I recently received an e-mail from
Yvonne McGee, executive director of the Fairfax Bar Association, stating that her association's voter participation rate
quadrupled in the most recent election. That's an uncharacteristically high increase. Results like this have shifted concerns
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complicated or too unfamiliar.
Let us show you what business can
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to deal more with system features than with the fundamentals
of Web application security. For the latecomers to the party,
you’ll be happily surprised at the things a modern election can
do — and that you’ll never know how you did without.
David Simms is president of ElectionsOnline.us in Arlington, Va. He may be reached
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Join the conversation at www.theforumeffect.org.
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