Election Administration: Election Candidates

Voters should be well informed as to exactly which candidates are standing for election and what the key messages of their campaign are. Voters’ decisions in board of directors, work council or supervisory board elections run the risk of being compromised by false information, or indeed a lack of information, which would effectively cancel out all your hard work in organising and administering the election. In order to reduce this risk, make sure you promote the flow of information extensively through all available channels.  

Important, more Important, candidate information

First of all, be sure to create a database comprising all known information regarding the candidates standing for election. The best option is to create a digital table which can be accessed by the election committee or the election board. Often a wide range of information is available and can be gathered from various documents or emails, index cards or forms. 

Structure your table in such a way that each piece of information about a candidate has it’s own separate column. Add an additional column which indicates whether or not the data is complete for each candidate and another in which candidates can indicate that the information is correct. If you notice that your candidate database is lacking some information you can start to collect what’s missing immediately. Be sure to think about any additional information which may be useful and combine the search for it with your search for any information which was originally missing.

Complete information about the election candidates

Election candidates’ personal details are useful and should be communicated to voters. Futhermore, voters place a high degree of importance on election promises and personal statements made by candidates. Below are some ideas about which candidate related information should be prepared for your communications with voters:

Basis information about candidates 

  • Surname, first name (and title – if necessary)
  • Date of birth
  • A photo
  • Marital status
  • Years of service in the company or years of membership in the cooperative, organization or association
  • Current position or role
  • Goals for the future of the organization, messages or election promises
  • Personal statement of the candidate
  • Links to further information (e.g. homepage, blog, social media profiles like Xing or others)
  • Contact details (e.g. email address)

Ensure the candidates have verified all information collected about them. This can be done via email, in person or over the phone.

POLYAS-Tip: Jump on the digital train with your election administration and use interactive ballot papers with links to more information about the election candidates. This way you can create candidate profiles on your website which refer to the ballot paper and the online election. Your voters will then be able to receive all relevant information while they are voting. Contact our election experts for a non-legally binding quote! 

Making candidate information accessible

Candidate data is the primary source of information for your voters. Thus, it is of vital importance that the election officer and the election committee make the information available from a central location. This works best by putting up a notice about the election, mailing it or making it digitally public on your organization’s website, intranet or via email. 

Check regularly if all information is accessible and complete (e.g. accessibility of the intranet or completeness of notices). Inform all eligible voters where they can access the candidates’ information and in addition offer them the option to contact the administration to seek it. Every now and then voters might not receive their mail or be unable to access the internet or intranet. Therefore, it’s wise to keep open all means of communicating information to your voters.

Using the election website as a platform 

Creating an election website is a great way to make candidates’ information even more accessible to your voters. Here voters can access all important information about the election and details about the candidates. Read more about creating an election website!