The original voting process in ancient Greece was a social experience. Athenians and other citizens across ancient Greece came together to cast ballots driven by an obligation to participate that was at the core of the Greek concept of democracy.
Democratic decision-making has come a long way over the centuries with votes now cast via secret ballot and even online voting. However along the way, we have lost much of the participation that was part of the early voting process. In fact in the 2012 presidential election only 62.3% of eligible citizens voted.
Now, modern technologies such as social media are reinvigorating the voting process and helping drive greater voter participation. New research is being done on how to engage voters and increase participation with social media being one of the best tools for driving Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts. (For more on that, read our post on Using Social Media to Promote Voting and Elections.)
This is why we are so excited about the new social media integrations we have introduced in our eBallot online voting and balloting software that are designed to engage voters through social media and use social pressure to drive voter turnout for our Votenet clients.
eBallot’s VoteNow Facebook App provides the most social voting experience ever.
Voting inside Facebook is about as social as it can get. Now, members and eligible voters can login and vote using eBallot’s VoteNow Facebook App. Our new app puts the entire eBallot process within Facebook so organizations can promote ballots and engage voters directly through Facebook.
Once your admin has configured the ballot, all they have to do is connect your eBallot account to your Facebook page, click a button and your ballot now lives inside Facebook. Voters can login and vote directly within the Facebook app and there is even an icon installed in the app bar.
The fact is that Facebook is a daily destination for many compared to the web sites of the organizations they belong to. By integrating eBallot with Facebook, your organization can reach potential voters where they spend most of their online time.
Social sharing uses peer pressure to drive Get Out the Vote efforts.
More and more studies are showing how social pressure can encourage others to vote. We see this “in real life” with the ubiquitous “I Voted” stickers on election-day. But studies of Facebook and voter turnout have shown when that pressure is applied through social media, it becomes an even more powerful tool with the potential to multiply efforts.
“Election participation is a social activity,” Menlo College’s Dr. Melissa Michelson said recently. “Robust scientific research proves that individuals are more likely to vote when they know that their friends have voted, or when they see that many others are doing so.”
That’s why creating tools that allow users to quickly and easily create that social pressure are so important. eBallot’s Social Media Share function now encourages voters to promote their voting behavior (“I Voted!”) through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn directly from the voting confirmation page.
Voters choose a default message or can post a personalized status. They also have the option of writing on the organization’s Facebook wall to spark conversation and engagement among the organization’s online community. All social shares include a link to the organization’s voting portal to drive voter participation.
Reducing friction one click at a time.
Our recent webinar with Dave Meslin pointed out that in order to overcome voter apathy (particularly when it comes to voting), organizations need to make the activity relevant, leverage great marketing and improve accessibility.
Our new social features are designed to do just this. By reducing the friction involved in accessing the voting process and turning voters into your engagement evangelists we now have the tools to overcome that apathy.
Of course this is just the start. Keep an eye out for more details on these new features and even more tools that are in the works. Or to see these new features in action, feel free to get in touch or sign up for a demo.