The preparation for an election must be conducted as meticulously as the election itself. Errors, inaccurate information or missed deadlines – and already the entire process is invalid. The election regulation, election charter or association charter provide the rough guideline for this.
Missing information for the authorised voters may lead to decreased voter participation, failure of the election because the minimum voter participation was not reached, invalid votes or – especially disastrous – a loss of trust in the election’s leadership and the board.
We are happy to provide you with information on fundamental election planning, because your election’s success is important to us. That is why we have already provided instructions on the electoral register, and emphasized how important it is that all contact information of the authorised voters is available. Today we will discuss your candidates. The voters must know exactly which person is up for election with which messages. Do not neglect to provide extensive information through suitable channels. There may be no misunderstandings of your board election due to faulty information – then the entire election will certainly collapse. That means: Start from the ground up! And that may cost a pretty penny.
Important, more important, candidate information
Compiling candidate information
If you do not already have one, you should first compile a list of all of the information you have about the candidates up for election. A digital table that all members of the electoral committee can access is best suited for this. It often happens that a lot of information is available – not only centrally, but also in various sheets, e-mails, folders or forms.
Design your table in such a way that there is a column for every necessary piece of information. Add another column in which you can note that the information is complete and has been examined by the candidate.
Completing the candidate information
If you ascertain that there are still gaps in your table, begin filling out the missing information. Consider in advance which information could also be useful – for if you call around, you can also pick up some extra info. Here are a few suggestions on which candidate information is sensible.
Basic information on candidates
- Surname, first name
- Date of birth
- Marital status
- Employment, or for association elections: Association membership
- Current function or profession
- Goals of future work, messages, election promises
- Candidate’s personal statement
- Links to additional information (e.g. homepages, blogs, social media profile like Xing, etc.)
- Contact methods for the authorised voters (e.g. e-mail address)
Send the candidate all of the information via e-mail for adjustment, or discuss it with them personally over the phone.
Making candidate information accessible
First and foremost, the candidate information is a source of information for the voters. Electoral organisers and the election board must thus ensure that the information is centrally accessible. This is done analogously with notices and informational postings on the election, or digitally via a homepage, intranet and e-mail. Regularly check that all information is accessible and available (e.g. availability of the intranet or completeness of the notices).
Inform all voters how and where the candidate information can be found, and provide the opportunity to contact the association administration and/or the board regarding this. There may always be somebody who did not receive their post, or cannot access the internet or the notices. This way, you keep all channels for acquiring information open.