The results of our first-ever online candidate poll have been tallied.
DotOUT members responded and voted 58% for: Dan Hunt for the 13th Suffolk state representative seat.
Online voting participation is on par and slightly higher than our “live” endorsement meetings.
Following our by-law structure, voting was limited to live members who had joined 30 days prior to the poll launch. Voting was also controlled like the live endorsement–only one response could be recorded per email address. Members were given information about the candidates (questionnaire responses and online links); and, according to our results data, they made use of the supplied material.
But, these results are still only a poll and are not to be construed as an endorsement by DotOUT.
Confusing? You bet. Let us explain why.
Poll v. Endorsement
Politics is a way of life in Massachusetts and, as we’ve seen over the years and past endorsement meetings, some DotOUT members live and breathe local politics. We’re fortunate our members are committed to improving their neighborhoods through active participation in the electoral process.
Last year’s bumper crop of elections and special elections carried over to 2014 with Dorchester’s first special election of the year for the 13th Suffolk state representative seat. Unfortunately, the special election date was announced with less than six weeks notice. This shortened timeline, unfortunately, did not allow DotOUT and its steering committee adequate time to adhere to our bylaws governing political endorsements.
Additionally, we heard back from our members who expressed “political fatigue” coming out of 2013’s overload of candidates and meetings. We were very concerned the campaign’s abbreviated schedule would pose an impossible challenge for members, candidates and the steering committee to coordinate.
In April, we will bring up for discussion and vote using online polling in place of a live event or possible opportunities when an online polling system would be best for the membership. From the results we saw over the past few days, it appears as if online voting is a viable option for many of our members.
We look forward to seeing you in April and continuing this discussion at the annual meeting!
[button url=”http://www.dotout.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/ByLaws-Final.pdf” style=”purple” size=”small”] Bylaws PDF File [/button]
By the Numbers
Our first ever online candidate poll elicited a 54.2% unique email open rate with a 40% click-thru rate—our highest ever.
We originally launched the poll on Thursday, February 27 at 11:00pm. Techinical difficulties bumped our original launch time of 8:00pm to 11:00pm. There were two follow-up email reminders sent on Friday and again on Sunday morning. We received additional clicks early Monday morning after the poll had closed.
What we’ve learned so far:
1. Participation is strong if not stronger than our live endorsement events.
2. Members are using the provided DotOUT questionnaire materials.
3. There is some involvement with the candidates’ online presence.