Online Voter Campaign Helps To Increase Turnout For County Council Elections
PUBLISHED: 16:22 15 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:56 04 May 2010
AN online county council campaign designed to encourage residents to Do Something Amazing and vote in the elections helped see voter turnout increase to one of the top in the region. Cambridgeshire County Council chose for the first time to mainly use on
AN online county council campaign designed to encourage residents to Do Something Amazing and vote in the elections helped see voter turnout increase to one of the top in the region.
Cambridgeshire County Council chose for the first time to mainly use online and new media to encourage voters as part of the campaign.
Despite the backdrop of the MPs' expenses row the online campaign, which used Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, texts, scrolling advertising on digital radios and even Park and Ride signs, helped see a voter turnout of more than 39 per cent.
Cambridgeshire County Council elections had previously seen a 35 per cent turnout in elections where no general election was being held. It was feared that this could drop below that as residents were fed up with rows over expenses in parliament.
The Do Something Amazing campaign encouraged residents to help shape the future amazing things the council could do in the future by voting. The campaign not only saw Cambridgeshire residents voting but also using the council's interactive map and up to the minute online results service to keep up to date with the count. Results were also Twittered as well as interesting or quirky news about the count.
On the run up to the election Twitter and Facebook groups were set up as well as a series of online films featuring service users and designed to show some of the amazing things officers do. A free text service was also set up to remind people to vote and provide relevant information.
Interactive Park and Ride signs which are situated at five sites on the approaches to Cambridge all ran the Do Something Amazing campaign.
The council's 42 libraries, which all have free internet access, had messages on the computer screens to remind users to Do Something Amazing and vote. Young people were also encouraged through the Connexions organisation.
During the run-up to the election people were urged to do, view, diary, text and post something amazing - to name but a few.
Andy Allsopp, head of communications for Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "This is the first time that Cambridgeshire County Council has used all these methods in a concerted effort to encourage people to vote. We wanted a positive message that not only grabbed the media's attention but could be used in various ways and using various methods. As the MPs' expenses row heated up many pundits were saying there would be a low turnout. However, we are glad to see Cambridgeshire was one of the top in the eastern region and saw an increase of 4 per cent on the last similar election. This was a learning process for us and it was encouraging to see my team come up with ideas and run with it so enthusiastically.