Throughout the United States, those who use Vote411.org to find information on candidates and issues continues to grow. Megan Brown, the VOTE411 administrator, recently wrote:
VOTE411 educated more voters than any other off-year election cycle! You all should be extremely proud of all the candidate outreach, VOTE411 publicity, candidate debates/forums, and other voter service work this cycle.
This year VOTE411 had over 1.2 million sessions from Jan 1st through Election Day, and nearly 1.1 million of those sessions included the online voters’ guides! That represents an 84% increase in sessions nationwide to voters’ guides on VOTE411 as compared to the 2017 cycle, and a 264% increase over the 2015 election cycle (technically the most comparable election cycle). These are amazing numbers and show just how much the voters turn to the League to find the information they need on Election Day.
Note that these numbers show sessions, not users; a person may well access this site more than once. Also, recall that VOTE411 was not available for Licking County voters until the League formed here in late 2017. We first used it in 2018.
Just as voter turnout is greatly affected by which races are on the ballot, so is VOTE411 usage. Usage in Ohio was generally greater in the fall of 2018 than this year because we were voting then on a governor and other state-wide races, congressional district representatives, and seats in the Ohio House and Senate.
Turnout in the recent election was expected to be low and it was. Understanding all that, here are the figures on how much VOTE411 was used. For perspective I include Columbus along with some Licking County sites. While Licking County’s numbers are okay, given the low interest in this election, we clearly need to continue educating voters – and candidates — about this great online resource. Seeing the vote411 numbers in 2020 will be very interesting.