Yesterday, Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia held primary elections. Yes, presidential primaries, but what some people might not realize is that there were many congressional and local positions up for grabs as well.
I had a really cool opportunity to play helper bee yesterday at the DC Board of Elections and Ethics, thanks to a former coworker who now works for the BOEE. Though most of my “duties” consisted of running errands for my friend and babysitting TV reporters (very friendly), I was also asked to be another pair of eyes on the Board’s social media. I followed the DC election tag, #DCision12 and watched for mentions of @dcboee for my temporary supervisors. Through the day, and earlier registration processes during the year, the staff responded quickly to concerns and questions that came in. Some of the tweets that really impressed me were general feedback about the Board’s social media presence and noted that city agencies worked together. A few really nice ones….
@tbridge: Congrats to @hgil, @jlisle and @alysoun for running an awesome campaign of twitter shock and awe yesterday for @DCBOEE
@IMGoph : seeing @dcra, @DDOTDC, & @DCBOEE team up today highlights the contrast w/ @DCDPW, which doesn’t value twitter for communicating w/ residents @dcra: Like Voltron, we are joining forces today w/ @DCBOEE & @DDOTDC to form a large armored cat. Also, to broadcast election info to the public. @DCist_Updates: D.C., it’s primary time! Polls open now, close at 8 p.m. Voter Guide: http://bit.ly/Hbd0sm Tweet @DCBOEE with any issues. #dcision12 @keshinil: @DCBOEE Impressive! Love the timely stats! #DCision12
While this was a slower, smaller election than a general election, the entire staff was patiently waiting to solve one problem after another while still going about their usual election day business. Late in the evening, I watched the paper ballots (and electronic ballots) come in from all 143 precincts in 8 wards across the city. Each police escorted delivery was picked up and checked by election staff outside before being sent up to the office for immediate tallying. The staff worked quickly and efficiently at these processes, at least as much as I could tell.
I hope to have a piece in the next few weeks with my friend at the DCBOEE about the Board’s use of social media. Say what you want about politicians, but these local government employees are a great example for others.
The District of Columbia Board of Elections & Ethics is an independent agency of the District government responsible for the administration of elections, ballot access, and voter registration.
Please note, for this piece I commented ONLY on the day-of events at the DCBOEE headquarters, not at individual polling places or actions of candidates or campaign staff. I was there as myself and not representing my company, Red Boot Media. Other than yesterday’s unpaid volunteer gophering, I have no affiliation with the DCBOEE.