An Old Friend Gets a New Look: Electionline’s “October Surprise”

[Screenshot image via electionline]

Regular readers may have noticed an exciting new change at electionline.org – an updated look accompanied by some functional changes intended to keep the site informative and useful to the election community for years to come. Democracy Fund’s Stacey Scholl has a guest post in this week’s electionlineWeekly:

It might be an understatement to say electionline looks a little different these days; from a newsier homepage to a new events page, Democracy Fund is improving what we know you love and offering new content to help you better understand what’s happening in elections and what’s new for administrators.

When Democracy Fund announced in January 2018 that the website would become a project within the organization, we felt then, as we do now, that electionline is a vital resource for trusted news and information about the people and process that guide our nation’s elections. Our goals for redeveloping the site were to enhance its capabilities and expand content—but our long-term plans are to create a place where readers are exposed to new ideas, opportunities for continuing education, and relationship building.

To do this, we started by thinking long and hard about the site’s current audience and their needs. Starting now, election administrators, academics, voting advocates and other regular readers of electionline will find new ways to:

  • Keep Up With Election News – Electionline is still the only place on the internet to find national and state-by-state curation of daily election administration news. Our refreshed ‘Daily News’ section allows readers to sort stories by date or by state, better enabling those with specific interests to hone in on the most relevant news quickly.
  • Track Election Events – We know that there are no shortage of election-related events, conferences, and public meetings happening across the country. These convenings are important opportunities to learn, share and refine ideas, and participate in critical conversations about voting and elections administration with advocates, administrators, and officials. Our sortable list of national and local events now makes it easy to find events you might be interested in. We are experimenting with ways to track and input these events, but event-organizer submission will be one key way we collect this information. If you’d like to share your event with electionline readers, you can submit it here.
  • Stay Informed With Exclusive Analysis – In addition to continuing to publish the classic electionline Weekly newsletter, we will also start sharing exclusive reports and analysis on elections and voting from leaders and experts in the field. This week, we hope you’ll check out a new report on “Understanding the Voting Experience.” Using data collected from 2008-2016 via the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, authors Natalie Adona and Paul Gronke offer new insight into how the public is thinking about the decision to vote or not, their knowledge and application of voter registration requirements, the over all voter experience, and the public’s trust and confidence in U.S. elections.
  • Boost Your Skills With New Training & Resources – Our new ‘Training & Resources’ page connects readers to organizations, trainings, tools, and more. Now searchable and sortable, these organizations and items are a potential game-changer for election administrators who want to connect with subject-matter experts, get up to speed on things like cybersecurity, or dig deep on a topic like election audits.
  • Find Career Opportunities in Elections Administration – The election administration community thrives not only when ideas are accessible, but also when opportunities are elevated and cost-savings are passed along. That is why, over time, we will work to populate and update our new Jobs & Marketplace landing page, featuring job openings and used equipment available for purchase from across the country. We think of this part of the website as a place to get employed and for resources to be redeployed.

It’s been an honor to be associated with electionline.org since we founded it back in 2001(!); these days, the site is in the best possible hands under the indefatigable leadership of my friend and longtime colleague Mindy Moretti. This refresh comes at a key point in the election cycle; if experience is any guide, traffic (both news and visitors) spikes in the weeks before and after Election Day. Congratulations to everyone involved … head on over to electionline.org and stay tuned!

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