Here are our favorite posts this week about voting technology, voter education and engagement, online communities, IRS and nonprofits, holiday gifts and dancing union members.
In Pima County, Arizona, for the first time, voters used tablets to cast their votes in a referendum. Lucy McCalmont at Politico, says, “Across the country, states are gearing up to implement new voter technologies for 2014, as they attempt to advance the ballot-casting experience to catch up with the Facebook generation.” Online voter registration is now allowed in 20 states — could online voting be next? In 32 states, “uniformed military service members and overseas citizens” can vote online, but only Alaska allows all citizens to vote online.
Google launched an online portal for India’s 2014 general election, “giving voters a one-stop access point to all the news related to elections and politics, as well as information about various political parties,” according to The Next Web. The portal also includes a section for videos and Goggle Hangouts. Does your organization have an online hub for your elections and voting events?
Chrissy Ziccarell at M & R Research Labs points out a mistake made by many organizations. They urgently request your support (or your vote), but never get back to you with the results or impact your action made. Follow-up messaging to voters is important because, she says, “It proves that their support makes an impact, it gives them a reason to stay involved, and it shows that you value and respect them.” She shares five examples of effective follow-up messaging you can use after an election or a grassroots political call to action.
Is an online community platform in your organization’s future? Check out the 2014 Online Community Software Selection Guide from Online Community Results and Socialfish. The downloadable guide will answer most of your initial questions about different platforms, including community features, user experience, compatibility with association management systems and more.
“The Obama administration is at last taking a much-needed step to explore tighter restrictions on the use of tax-exempt entities for political purposes,” reports the Nonprofit Quarterly. Among the implications of these new regulations for 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations: “The inclusion of nonpartisan voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts as candidate-related political activity may be the most significant and troubling change contained in the proposed IRS guidelines.”
The Alliance for Justice also provides a “preliminary analysis of how the draft rules may affect nonprofits” and a statement in response to the draft guidelines: The End of Nonpartisan Election Work By 501(c)(4)s?
Do you know the rules on holiday gifts? Get a refresher from Credit Union Magazine. Other membership organizations, like associations and unions, should also remind staff about any policies on gift giving or receiving, especially gifts to and from members and vendors.
Our union friends will like this: Justin Timberlake is bringing unions back to the stage. Business Week reports that dancers on his world tour will be covered by a union contract. He was “very open to signing the agreement and personally making sure the deal got done.” According to the AFL-CIO, the agreement is the first of its kind for dancers employed on a specific tour.
Crowd Vote of the Week
It’s your last chance to vote on the 2014 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Who will it be? Nirvana, LL Cool J, Yes, Chic, Deep Purple, Linda Ronstadt, The Replacements, N.W.A., Peter Gabriel? Voting ends December 10.
This Week on Voting 2.0
Have you heard the news? eBallot now features social media tools that will help your organization increase voter engagement and turnout, including our new Social Media Share function and VoteNow Facebook app.
Don’t let all your election marketing emails end up in the Trash folder. Learn how to format emails so voters actually read them and respond to your calls to action.
Enjoy your weekend!