Election Websites: Virginia
Researchers assessed state election websites for the Pew Center on the States between May-November 2010, using detailed criteria evaluating the content, lookup tools, and usability. Websites may have changed since they were assessed. See methodology (PDF).
- All-in-one lookup tool—the best in the nation—allows voters to view personalized sample ballots and confirm their polling place location and status of their registration and absentee or provisional ballot.
- Excellent section for people with disabilities, including information about the availability of assistance from poll workers, polling place accessibility and curbside voting, instructions for using voting equipment, and TDD access.
- Comprehensive instructions for how to cast a ballot, including voter ID requirements, polling place hours, and descriptions of voting systems.
- Complete results of current and past elections, displayed as percentages by county and by precinct.
- Website search function consistently located on every page and helpful in returning relevant results.
Recommended improvements include:
- Provide information for military or overseas voters if they do not receive requested ballots in time to vote (35 states offer).
- Organize links and information on the home page logically by audience so that voters can easily find content they are looking for.
Noteworthy Feature: Virginia's site features detailed, multi-year election schedules for various municipalities, such as boards of supervisors, town and city councils, school boards, and soil and water directors.
Initial Quick Fix: Consolidate all critical resources for military voters—for example, information about when to re-register and renew absentee ballot requests—on the main military and overseas voters' page.
Summary: Even with a relatively low score in usability, Virginia's website performs well because it offers all five recommended lookup tools, earning a high score in the content category.
www.sbe.virginia.gov was assessed for content, lookup tools, and usability.