Enabling Public Bodies to Achieve Excellence in Democratic Services
From the moment citizens receive their ballot papers to the moment they cast their vote can be a matter of minutes – yet it is in this fleeting act that our democracy is sustained and the way in which we govern ourselves finds its legitimacy.
But the relative simplicity with which people may cast their vote belies the complex structure, systems, processes and the hard-working teams of dedicated public servants whose function is to ensure the democratic process works effectively and efficiently. Democracy Counts has a growing role in enabling the infrastructure of electoral services.
What We Do
Established in 2009, Democracy Counts is a leading provider of state of the art electoral management software, support services and training to the UK Government and local authorities across England, Scotland and Wales - as well as managed referendums and ballot services to public, private and community organisations.
We cover every stage of the election process - including preparation of polling schemes, planning, nominations, printing and mailing, production of election stationery, postal voting, risk evaluation, counting and declaration of results.
In 2014, reforms to the UK electoral system were introduced with Individual Electoral Registration (IER), enabling individuals to control their own registration and to register on-line. Democracy Counts developed our Electoral Management System (EMS) - Elector8 - against the specific changes and challenges of IER, developing the system as the proposals were being discussed and refined, meaning the system was ready to launch at the same time as the reforms.
Through fully understanding the amount of communication that electoral services managers and administrators would need to perform, we developed Elector8 as a Customer Relationship Management system – with a focus on modularity, scaleability, system integration, and a full data security audit trail.
Our system is constantly evolving, responsive to the needs of those who manage and administer elections. We want to make elections increasingly secure, reliable, simpler and more cost-effective to organise, manage and deliver - and to make the voting experience as straightforward and reliable as possible.
Democracy Counts is Constantly Innovating
Innovation is at the core of how we, our system and services work, focused on excellence in the delivery of citizens’ democratic rights by making electoral services manageable through increasing functionality, generating efficiencies and reducing costs. Some of our innovations include:
Citizens’ Accounts: Our software, Elector8 Connect, enables the integration of information across different local government services and systems, facilitating a ‘tell us once’ approach – with any updated information provided to one department (i.e. a change of address) automatically updating across the account to other services. It also enables cheaper and more efficient communication to citizens in advance of elections – such as informing them when to register, postal and proxy vote deadlines, e-polling cards, and election day information such as directions to their polling stations.
E-polling cards: Functioning as part of the citizen account service, this provides a barcode ID to each voter and centrally marks the register once a vote has been cast. Camden used E-Poll Cards in the 2016 EU referendum as an addition to hard copy Poll Cards for the late registrations that couldn't be guaranteed to receive their paper Poll Cards in time.
Integration with gov.notify: Elector8 was the first EMS to fully integrate with gov.notify, in January 2019. This provides for free and significantly cheaper texts to voters, providing significant cost savings to local authorities.
A Single Register: Democracy Counts already supplies the software to the British Library to hold the National Register of Electors. This means that a single, unified national electoral register is ready to launch. It could be ‘by nation’ as required, and in accordance with whichever security / anonymisation limitations are required (i.e. either searchable – showing an individual’s registration details - or confirmatory, simply providing a yes/no answer to the question ‘am I registered?’).
Our registration system allows additional needs to be recorded to give the local authority, and each individual polling station, the ability to plan and prepare for the provision of relevant assistance to the voter.
Tablet technology: Utilised for the recording of information during the annual canvass, with information being uploaded directly to a web-based server (live, and encrypted), our software is the only product that can be used across all systems and includes a voter ID capability.
Supporting Excellence in Delivering Democratic Rights
Like our own electoral management system and services, democracy itself needs constantly to evolve. We respond to the ever-changing threats of cyber-attack and fraud, and embrace the enhanced opportunities that technology provides for increasing voter registration and participation.
Whilst we look forward to helping deliver further electoral modernisation, we believe there is a need for a broader conversation about how the form and function of UK democracy can improve. For example, how do we increase voter confidence and engagement, what do we want the voter experience to be, how do we reduce the bureaucratic burden on electoral administrators, and how do we help the democratic process to evolve and expand in the digital age with ever more resilience and inclusivity? These are all questions any review of our democracy will need to address, and we look forward to being both part of the discussion and a provider of solutions.
For Further Information:
Grant Hazell, Sales & Marketing Director, Democracy Counts.
IER Your Way
There really is only one system that offers you the flexibility to manage your workload in your way. Market leading, innovative software backed up with easy to access comprehensive support. Click below to find out why Elector8 should be your only choice for your EMS. Book a demo. There are many features you can't unsee!
Take a look at our video on the right to learn more.
Digital Transformation at Your Fingertips
We write modern citizen facing software making Local Authorities Digital by Default
The Only CRM that understand IER
Democracy Counts made the decision to re-write their EMS early on in the IER discussion stages. We realised that the amount of communincations your team would have to perform needed a Customer Relationship Management system that was compliant with all Electoral Legislation. This has proved to be the right move as other vendors are attempting to re-write their systems now, 4 years too late!
Our Elector Centre Suite is a Microsoft Office for Democracy
Elector Centre suite of products, the software underpinning our electoral services, has been developed using market leading technology. They are modular, scalable and fully integrated, providing the most extensive range of democratic software solutions available in the world.
Local Authority Chief Executives and Returning Officers are excited about how our software can improve citizen engagement and participation using the electoral roll: helping with recruitment and retention of citizens' journeys online.
What People are Saying
Our working lives have been transformed thanks to using a system that is fast, accurate and does a lot of the tedious work for us. During the elections running data files was quick and efficient – no late nights trying to produce print files! Our electors have benefited from a quicker, more efficient service both during the elections and during the Annual Canvass. Our Annual Canvass did not feel like the normal sinking under mounds of forms – where were all the paper forms? – they were on Canvass tablets which proved more receptive by electors and a more secure way of Canvassing. We are looking forward to continuing to work on a reliable and modern system that will evolve with us to meet all our future requirements.
London Borough of Camden
We have found the Elector8 system to be excellent. We had to immediately deliver our County Elections and Snap Parliamentary Election within 3 months of moving to the system. The migration was fast and efficient and we received all the training and support we needed, whenever and however we needed it. We have been welcomed into an active useful user group which listens to ideas and uses these to quickly shape the product. It’s refreshing to see how easily modern software can allow us to work in more efficient ways. We look forward to continually improving the way we work.
East Staffordshire Council
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