Election 2020 and Counties: A Guide to Overcoming Communication Challenges

Assaf Frances

Assaf Frances

Director of Urban Policy

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In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the role that counties play in facilitating the electoral process is both more critical and more challenging than ever before. County Election Boards must be able to quickly adjust operations and effectively communicate to citizens in a clear and timely manner, while ensuring access to a safe and accurate vote. Guaranteeing residents have the right information while avoiding the spread of misinformation and disinformation is key to a successful election in November. Here’s how Zencity can help:

5 Ways Zencity can Help You Stay on Top of the 2020 Elections

1. Build a One-stop Elections Discourse Shop

As a county, you need to know and follow, in real-time, the multitude of channels and sources (social media, news, etc.) where elections are being discussed by your citizens, so that you can stay on top of your community’s concerns and respond accordingly. Processing vast amounts of discourse in today’s online world is no easy feat, but, with Zencity, you can instantaneously monitor the dozens of public channels on which election-related conversations are taking place, including non-county-owned channels such as news channels and community pages, so you can be sure that nothing flies under your radar.

As the example below indicates, setting up an ‘Election 2020’ Project on your Zencity’s dashboard enables you to stay on top of all of the relevant discourse in one place. It also enables you to follow and analyze changes in conversations over time according to different parameters, including volume, sentiment, geo-location, and more.

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2. Receive Tailor-Made Election 2020 Insights

Seeing all of the data in one place is great, but understanding what is driving the conversation is even better. In addition to the data collected and aggregated by the Zencity platform, our team of analysts will also provide you with insights that break down the discourse in your county and quantify the main arguments and concerns that your residents are raising.

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3. Track the Effectiveness of Your Messaging and Make Changes in Real-Time

In a constantly changing reality, you need to be able to effectively communicate all of the operational aspects of elections in your county and ensure residents’ questions and concerns are being addressed. These concerns may include changing polling locations, health and safety requirements, security and accessibility, and understanding options and procedures for early voting, mail-in voting, and, and drive-through voting.

Zencity’s platform enables you to identify the volume of discourse about any given topic at any given time, and to detect where residents are asking for clarification or more information. As you respond, share information, and initiate new messaging campaigns, you can track the performance and effectiveness of your outreach initiatives and adapt them as needed.

4. Identify the Spread of Rumors, Misinformation, and Disinformation

Tracking discourse in an Elections 2020 Project for the spread of incorrect information within local discourse, both on official and unofficial channels will help you put the kibosh on misinformation as well as be sure that rumors are stopped before they spread. More importantly, this will allow you to have better control of the overall narrative around elections in your county. For example, topics like mail-in voting can be at the center of disinformation around voting fraud that you should be aware of.

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5. Focus on Specific Areas

Zencity’s geolocation tools can help you understand exactly where within your county election discourse is being discussed. You can match conversations taking place in these locations with external demographic and historical voting data in order to tailor your communication strategy and initiatives accordingly.

With the primary elections well underway and the national elections just around the corner, counties are working hard to create, adapt, and distribute COVID-19 prevention plans for the polling sites within their jurisdictions. The ability to effectively listen and communicate with residents will undoubtedly continue to play a vital role in ensuring a smooth and safe election process within your county.

Learn how Zencity can help your county ensure safe, secure, and accessible elections.