Thursday, December 8, 2011

State election websites assessed in new nationwide Pew study

Today the Pew Center on the States unveiled a new, nationwide assessment of state election websites, "Being Online Is Still Not Enough."
The California Voter Foundation was a major partner in this project and undertook much of the basic research, analysis, and writing, along with the Center for Governmental Studies and the Nielsen Norman Group. Together our three organizations conducted this assessment, which reviewed all 50 states' and the District of Columbia's election websites for content, lookup tools and usability.
An article I co-wrote for, was published today, providing additional details about this important project. It's also available via CVF-NEWS.
Unfortunately, California does not score well in the assessment, primarily due to the fact that our state election website lacks all five of the voter lookup tools the project assessed (voter registration status, polling place, ballot information, and absentee and provisional ballot status).
While many other states have made great progress in recent years utilizing the Internet as an effective and efficient tool to help voters engage in elections, California is lagging behind. At CVF we are working with a number of individuals and organizations to promote a statewide voter registration status lookup tool and hope that someday soon California voters will have as good, if not better access to modern election tools as voters in other states.
It is our hope that this study will help states better understand how their election websites compare to one another, provide useful feedback and ultimately help more voters participate more effectively and meaningfully in the democratic process.

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