The Big Four Blog Series: Ready, Set Go | Election
Readiness and You
Running an election can feel like a familiar rhythm – frenetic energy gives way to anticipation as each cycle opens and closes.
It’s easy to rely on previous experience and old processes to ensure every election cycle is properly prepped for. Yet, each election brings new challenges – whether they are internal or external. New team members, with little experience, new legislation or even new equipment to navigate are all factors that contribute to election readiness.
Experience has taught us that because no two elections are exactly the same, preparedness is key. Constantly seeking tools to help us be as prepared as possible ensures the smoothest election cycles.
When evaluating your preparedness and readiness goals, it’s helpful to think of the Three P’s: our People, our Property, and our Processes. Breaking your entire election ecocycle down into these large buckets ensures that no area is overlooked as you prepare for an election.
Arguably our most important asset, Poll Workers are the lifeblood of an election. We need to recruit, screen, accept, train, evaluate proficiencies, schedule for the elections, and pay them.
This includes preparing your physical locations (voting places), your voting equipment and all of your ancillary supplies. Chain of Custody enters here as does a checklist for each voting area. This might include an inventory supply (down to the “I Voted” stickers) which rolls up to the total for your locality. Where do you store your ADA compliance documentation? Your maps of the voting property, to show where candidates may stand? All this information should be located in one safe & secure environment, accessible to all who need it.
This is the scaffolding, which allows the People and Property to work to their highest potential. Areas like Security & Compliance, Chain of Custody, Logic & Accuracy, Training, Communication. Is the historical information stored in a single, safe and secure environment? Or have the processes, adopted over the years, housed in their independent areas?
It’s time to take a look at another election“elephant”. Similar to other elephants we have looked at in this blog miniseries, this issue is large and complex. Various individual approaches, introduced over time to address specific concerns, may not work well together. They are not inter-operational. Many of these systems were purchased to address a specific concern however they were not designed to take all areas into consideration. Unfortunately, the outcome leaves our teams scrambling to make our purchased systems work, rather than the purchased system fulfilling its actual purpose.
Now that we have established that all areas of the election ecocycle are interdependent, housing them in a single environment just makes sense.
A single location for all your processes allows your decisions for one area, which impact other areas, to be adjusted and taken into consideration. A tremendous amount of your team’s energy and focus is freed up, allowing them to do less mundane and more critical work. Your record keeping becomes more accurate, as you reduce redundancy and potential error, while your teams’ overall effectiveness increases as fewer systems are utilized.
Here’s the great news: the sooner you address outdated systems and inefficient processes, the sooner you can start maximizing your team’s productivity. If you haven’t considered streamlining your processes into a single environment, now is the time.
We will further discuss the benefits of a single platform for your daily tasks as well as meet our final, and possibly largest, election elephant on our final blog of our Big Four blog series. Don’t miss it!