Idox Elections is continuing to help local authorities bring assurance and efficiency to their elections by pioneering the use of electronic poll mail.
In a UK first, almost 200,000 electronic poll mails were sent successfully to Birmingham City Council’s (BCC) electorate, providing an effective and modern means of engaging with voters ahead of the city’s May election. As such communications are not legislatively prescribed, electoral teams have greater flexibility over content. This gave BCC the ability to reassure voters about recent ward changes following a significant boundary overhaul across the city, reducing the likelihood of subsequent queries.
By facilitating early contact with citizens before paper poll card distribution, the ePollMail service enables councils to verify voter details and confirm polling locations at the earliest opportunity, while also increasing register accuracy and encouraging voter turnout by using multiple elector contact points. It has the added value of reducing duplicate applications, offers a cost-effective way of communicating that aligns with modern electorate expectations, and spreads the ‘peak’ of registration activity and queries that often occur prior to an election. It can also be tailored to meet the needs of those with visual impairments, preparing them for further postal communications.
Victoria Beavon, Electoral Services Manager at Birmingham City Council said:
“It’s been hugely beneficial to trial the use of ePollMail. Not only were we able to inform our electorate of their new polling stations and electoral area after our extensive boundary changes, but this level of engagement has given us an extra communications window ahead of the May election.
“We’ve now got a means of updating the register in advance of official poll cards going out, and hope to increase turnout while reducing enquiries given such digital engagement is expected to save electors from having to look for a lost poll card, or call us to find out where their polling station is.”
The ePollMail service has the potential to deliver benefits to any local authority – irrespective of size or location – and is another example of how Idox Elections is innovating to provide the most reliable and efficient services for the benefit of electoral teams in the UK and across Europe.