Election Websites: Wyoming

Election Websites: Wyoming

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WY BONE2Researchers 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).

Strengths include:

  • Exemplary use of a search function, offering easy access to a simple-to-use, empty search field on every page.
  • A comprehensive list of current and past state and federal candidates, including street addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail and website addresses.
  • Links to state and federal candidates' campaign-finance data.
  • Complete information about recognized state political parties.
  • Polling place locator accessible to anyone by street address.
  • Content written below the eighth-grade level, making information understandable to low-literacy users.

Recommended improvements include:

  • Present important information in HTML rather than PDF documents, which are more difficult to read and search online.
  • Explain residency requirements for voter registration (44 states offer).
  • Provide lookup tools for voters to view a sample ballot (22 states offer) and the status of their registration (41 offer), absentee ballot (29 offer), and provisional ballot (19 offer).
  • Offer registration information for voters in special circumstances, such as students (36 states offer), those who are hospitalized (27 offer), the homeless (35 offer), or residents of long-term-care facilities (25 offer).
  • Provide information about whether voter registration records are public records (30 states offer), and if voters in certain circumstances have the right to keep their records private (22 offer).
  • Organize links and information on the home page and in the navigation by audience with prominent placement of content for voters.

Noteworthy Feature: Wyoming offers a unique resource for military voters: With their voter ID number, they can access a document that indicates whether the state election office received their absentee ballot and whether it was rejected, with an explanation.

Initial Quick Fixes: Feature the “Key Election Dates” content in HTML, rather than solely in PDF documents, which can be difficult to read. Consolidate resources for voters with disabilities into one central online location.

Summary: Wyoming's election website scores low overall and offers only one of the five recommended lookup tools.

http://soswy.state.wy.us/Elections/Elections.aspx was assessed for content, lookup tools, and usability.