Increase Voter Turnout: Election Polls
The election period is underway and you want to activate voters who haven't voted yet? Circulars and letters often end up in the (digital) paper bin. One reason is often the repetition of information. Your voters already know about the election and how it works. How can you avoid repeating yourself and activate your voters with interesting messages?
Election Polls Activate Voters
Requesting interaction is a simple trick to activate your voters. If a voter is directly asked about his or her intention to participate in the election, the likelihood that they will actually cast their vote increases. Use election polls to motivate your voters. A nice side effect: you get to know your voters.
We advise against conducting pre-election polls of voter intention as well as publishing interim election results because they are costly and can influence the way people vote. However, polls can nonetheless be a useful tool because participating already mobilises the voter: while actively answering questions regarding the election, the voter has the election at the front of their mind. Non-voters especially are better integrated into the election process this way.
The best time to start an election poll is in the middle of the election period. Create for instance a circular in which you remind your voters that it's still possible to vote for a certain time. Explain that answering these questions is important to improve voting processes and point out that the poll will only take a few minutes. What questions you ask is up to you. Clearly define what you want to know beforehand and tailor your questions accordingly.Start now >
Activate your Voters with Clever Election Polls
Our tip: ask your voters questions about the upcoming vote.
These can be answered quickly by everyone and you learn a lot about people's voting behaviour which allows you to optimise your next poll accordingly.
Possible questions for your voters:
- On what day and time of day do you plan to vote?
- Do you want to vote from home, your work place or somewhere else?
- Do you want to vote via paper ballot or online?
- When voting online: which device will you use?
Make sure that you create an easily understandable poll for your voters and don't ask too many questions. Choose closed questions with a list of possible answers and a free text field for the respondent to add additional information.
Create questons which are short, understandable and written in everyday language. Questions shouldn't be constructed in such a way that they lead to a particular answer, whilst all questions should have only one possible answer, not several options. This allows the respondent to more carefully consider the answer and generally gives better results. However, always give the option to skip questions – forcing your voter into answering a question might either make voters less likely to complete the poll or it can falsify the results.
POLYAS-Tip: An election poll brings you closer to your voters. By voting online, you can always update your voters about the live voter turnout.
Improved Voter Communication through Election Polls
Your election poll results offer additional information about voting behaviour, for example, they could reveal what time of the day your voter is best reachable. Based on this, you can switch to the best communication channel and improve the language you use. Moreover, you learn whether or not online voting is useful to facilitate the voting process.
An election poll opens up possibilities for the voters to share their opinion and be involved in the election processes. This also creates a sense of belonging, and being involved in the process means more participation.