CT: Are Connecticut Voters Left Behind By Web Site?

Update  3/21/2009: Another analysis rates CT’s election web site in the lower tier: <read>

Update 3/26/2009: Author responds to state’s request for further clarification:

The following clarification of the above review, from the author, was passed on to us by Lesley Mara, Deputy Secretary of the State.  Deputy Mara also passed along the following link to an additional portal provided for last fall’s election:  http://www.vote-ez-ct.com/more-info.php

Deputy Mara stated “As you’ll see, our site serves its purpose according to Ethan Klapper.  As you know, we are part of the overall state portal and that may affect some of the design issues he refers to…”

From: Ethan Klapper
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 12:57 PM
To: Gilman, Michelle
Subject: Re: Connecticut SOTS website

Michelle–

Once again, thank you for contacting me. Before I continue, I want to let you know that I issued a clarification to this post yesterday: http://www.socialgovernment.com/2009/03/24/clarification-to-state-election-web-sites-post/

That being said, the content on the Connecticut Web site is definitely there — I did not have trouble finding anything. However, it’s not organized in the most efficient way — the “SOTS: Elections and Voting” page is a bit cluttered and could be intimidating to some.

Finally, the box on the left-hand side of the page “About the Secretary, News, Business Services, Elections and Voting, Resources, Contact Us” seems to “cut into” the content — especially the first set of links under the heading of “Elections and Voting.” Also, that box isn’t “padded” — meaning that the links it cuts into creep right up next to it without any spacing. This kind of confused me when I visited the Web site.

So that was my rationale, design-wise at least, for the low rating. However, the site definitely serves its purpose.

I apologize for any confusion that might have occurred. Hopefully this clarification will clear things up for everyone.

Thank You!

Ethan Klapper

Ethan Klapper
Founder and Editor
social GOVERNMENT
www.socialgovernment.com

On Mar 23, 2009, at 4:24 PM, Gilman, Michelle wrote:

Good afternoon,

Our office recently saw the report post on your blog regarding good/bad state election websites.

Last year, our office completed the first phase of a website redesign project and also launched “Vote Ez” to streamline voter education information.  However, we are always looking for ideas to improve our website and your suggestions would be very helpful in making additional assessments to do just that.

If possible, I would appreciate your forwarding me the report you compiled that compares state websites and the criteria you used to assess them to help us develop a stronger website.

Thank you for your assistance,

Michelle Gilman

Michelle Halloran Gilman
Chief of Staff
Office of Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz

**************Original post:
PEW project report, Being Online Is Not Enough, State Elections Web Sites <read>

PEW Reviews State Voting Web Sites and Asks:

– Can I Find It?
– Does It Work?
– Does It Help?

PEW Says Voters Ask:
– Am I Registered, or How Do I Register?
– Where Do I Vote?
– What Candidates and Issues Are On The Ballot?

Connecticut rates 48th out of 51 (50 states and D.C.)

Compare for yourself:
#1 Iowa
#2 Texas
#3 Utah
#4 Pennsylvania
#48 Connecticut

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