Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
EasyVote’s Election Management Platform
What is the EasyVote Election Management Platform (election management software)?
EasyVote’s Election Management Platform provides election offices with software tools to increase productivity and reduce the cost to run elections. Our platform is comprised of several modules, designed around industry best practices, that automates and streamlines key election processes. The Election Management Platform is built by a team of technology experts and former election officials from across the United States. The platform is delivered using the software-as-a-service model, hosted on Microsoft’s state of the art Azure computing platform and is easy to implement and use.
Why did you create the Election Management Platform?
Conducting an election is demanding and entails many complex logistical processes. The EasyVote team is made up of technology experts and former election officials who have experienced these difficulties firsthand. We created the EasyVote Election Management Platform to provide affordable, best of breed, process automation / election administration software for elections offices across the United States.
What modules does EasyVote offer?
As of 10/31/2016, the EasyVote Election Management Platform is made up of six modules: EasyFocus (election task management), EasyPollWorker (poll worker management), EasyInventory (inventory and asset management), EasyCampaignFinance (campaign finance filing and reporting), EasyCheckIn (early voting processing), and Voter Services Mobile App (self-service and voter information delivered to voters on their mobile devices). We expect to add more modules to the platform over time to meet our customer’s needs.
Your software modules have so many features. Is EasyVote’s software difficult to use?
Our customers have found the different modules of the EasyVote Election Management Platform to be easy to use, yet also powerful and flexible for their needs. Our user interfaces are clean and simple to navigate. We provide you with training at implementation to ensure that your team understands how to work with the module(s). Our software includes built-in help menus and quick start guides. In the event of questions or any technical issues, live customer support is available.
Are your modules certified / state approved?
Unlike voting technologies (software and hardware), the software used to coordinate the processes for conducting an election generally do not require certification by state or federal government(s). Some of our software modules (EasyCampaignFinance, for example) are designed to conform to a state’s specific legislation and requirements. In those instances, EasyVote will ensure initial and ongoing compliance for your state.
Do I have to subscribe to the entire platform / all modules?
EasyVote gives our customers the flexibility to subscribe to only the modules that you need. You can subscribe to any combination of modules. Some customers start with only one module and then add as their needs grow.
If I subscribe to multiple modules, do they share any of the same data?
Each module of the EasyVote Election Management Platform shares a common technology infrastructure. When applicable, data is shared between multiple modules.
Is EasyVote’s Software built custom for me?
Unlike other election software vendors, the EasyVote Election Management Platform is not a custom / one-time software deployment. This provides significant benefits to our customers. With custom deployments you are paying a premium for a software developer to spend the time building new software from scratch. Custom deployments take a long time to deploy, are much more expensive and unproven from a security and software quality standpoint.
What is the benefit of using a common software platform?
The EasyVote Election Management Platform uses a common software platform. Development and operating costs are much less which in turn reduces cost to the end customer. The software is always live and running and your election office can be using the software within days. As elections best practices are identified and/or new features are deployed on the site, all customers have access to them immediately. Lastly, this shared platform ensures greater levels of security and quality as EasyVote’s focus is on maintaining one software product.
What is the cloud?
The cloud (or ‘cloud computing’) is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer (source: Wikipedia).
What is software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?
Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. SaaS removes the need for organizations to install and run platform applications in their own data centers. (source: http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/definition/Software-as-a-Service)
What are the benefits of software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?
Software as a aervice (SaaS) eliminates a wide variety of I/T expense for the customer, including the expense of hardware acquisition, provisioning and maintenance, as well as in-house server space for data and storage. The SaaS model also decreases the burden of support from in-house IT staff.
Other benefits include:
- Flexible payments: Customers subscribe to a SaaS offering, rather than purchasing outright the software, paying fees on an annual basis. Transitioning costs to a recurring operating expense allows many businesses to exercise better and more predictable budgeting.
- Scalable usage: Cloud services like SaaS offer high scalability, which gives customers the option to subscribe to the modules they require.
- Automatic updates: Rather than purchasing new software, customers can rely on EasyVote to automatically perform updates and patch management. This further reduces the burden on in-house IT staff.
- Accessibility and persistence: Since SaaS applications are delivered over the Internet, users can access them from approved Internet-enabled devices and locations.
Is your platform accessed through a web browser?
Unlike most cloud applications, EasyVote uses a software client for the Windows operating system that securely and efficiently connects to our cloud infrastructure.
Why do you use a separate software client?
EasyVote uses a standalone software client instead of a web browser for a number of security and operational reasons. Our Microsoft Windows client provides greater levels of security for your data, enables a number of unique features that couldn’t be delivered through a web browser and eliminates compatibility issues for customers who are running on older computers and/or operating systems.
Is there a limitation on the number of computers on which I can install the software?
There is no limit of the number of computers on which you can install the software. Your subscription allows for an unlimited number of users.
Where is my data stored?
EasyVote utilizes Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform to power and store all data for the EasyVote Election Management Platform.
How do you ensure my data is secure?
EasyVote has designed its implementation within Microsoft’s Azure platform to ensure the security of our customers’ data. All information transmitted between the software client and the platform is encrypted using “HTTPS”. Our web services are protected by firewalls within the Azure network and the databases in which your information resides is protected behind a 2nd set of Cisco firewalls and only accessible by EasyVote applications (vs. shared environment with other customers).
Why do you use Microsoft’s Azure infrastructure?
Microsoft Azure is the industry leader in cloud services and is utilized by more than 66% of Fortune 500 companies as well as many large governmental organizations including the US Department of Defense (DOD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Azure platform is reliable and secure. The company boasts 99.95% uptime and your data is housed only on servers within US. This data is located on multiple servers and kept perfectly in sync to ensure that even in the unlikely event of a disruption at one data center, access to the platform will continue.
Have any EasyVote customers experienced downtime (infrastructure issues or other) during an election or other time?
None of our customers have been affected by any downtime of the EasyVote Election Management Platform.
Implementation / Integration
How long does it take to implement the software at my election office?
Initial implementation of your EasyVote module(s) can take as little as 1-2 days, based on your team’s schedule, availability and size & complexity. Please note, the modules are also very powerful and depending on how complex your processes and systems are, it may take some time to properly map out and get the full capabilities of the software.
What steps are involved in the implementation process?
EasyVote’s service and support team provides a thorough project plan for the implementation of our platform in your elections office. Our proven methodology starts with an initial consultation to scope and set expectations for the project. The team provides a detailed project plan and sets meetings as needed to coordinate key facets of the plan, including technical installation, configuring your implementation of the software, and detailed training for your team and key stakeholders.
Will I need my own I/T resources to support your software?
The implementation and ongoing use of the EasyVote software has very little impact on your internal I/T resources. EasyVote’s customer service team provides software and operational support to the user. Depending on your I/T policies, your technology team may need to provide assistance to install the EasyVote client software on your PC’s and to provide the proper network configuration to ensure that the EasyVote client software can communicate through your network firewalls.
How do I add users?
Adding users to the EasyVote Election Management Platform is simple to do and only takes a minute or so. Your organization will designate certain users as administrators and are granted access to your administrative dashboard / portal. From the dashboard / portal, you can add or remove users.
Can I import external data & Integrate (for example, voter registration) information into a module?
We believe that interoperability with existing systems and the ability to use existing data is key to your success with our platform. We provide tools within the platform (‘intelligent import’) to easily import your data. If you have more complex data importation or integration needs with other systems, please speak your account manager to request a quote.
EasyVote's Subscription / Pricing Model
How does EasyVote price its software?
EasyVote’s pricing model ensures that the software is affordable for all customers, ranging from the smallest county to the largest cities and states. Our software is available as an annual subscription, the price determined based on the module(s) selected, and the size of your voter population.
Do I have to subscribe to the entire EasyVote Election Management Platform / all modules?
Since our software is on a single, shared platform, you have the ultimate flexibility in which modules to subscribe to. We have customers that subscribe to just one module, others that have subscribed to multiple modules, up to all six currently within the Election Management Platform. Customers can add additional modules at any time.
Does the EasyVote software cost more when I add more users?
No, there is no additional cost for additional users. Your annual subscription allows you to create an unlimited number of users and those users can install / run the software at no additional charge.
Since the EasyVote platform is subscription based, will the pricing change each year?
EasyVote does not plan to change its pricing. However, EasyVote reserves the right in the future to increase its subscription rates per its customer agreements.
How are the subscription payments structured?
EasyVote provides an annual subscription to our modules. Payment is due based on terms offered at activation and on the anniversary of each modules’ implementation.
About EasyVote Solutions
Where is EasyVote Solutions based?
EasyVote is based here in the United States with our headquarters just outside of Atlanta, Georgia in the city of Woodstock. Our employees are either based at our headquarters or in regional offices located across the United States, within close proximity to our customers.
What experience does the EasyVote team have in elections?
EasyVote’s sales and customer support teams are comprised of former state and county election directors with over 65 years of experience between them. The team has a unique understanding of elections through working at the state and county level in the areas of election administration, payroll, polling place staffing, election equipment maintenance, and vendor management.
Is any of the EasyVote Election Management Platform / software developed by outside contractors and/or by non-US (Offshore) entities?
100% of EasyVote’s technology work is produced in-house (vs. working with outside contractors and offshore development companies). We find that this provides us the peace of mind and quality control that the work was done correctly and maintains the security of your data.
Why EasyVote vs. Building Applications Internally
Your I/T team is already heavily burdened with the support and operations of your existing infrastructure and systems. By implementing modules from the EasyVote Election Management Platform, you are using a state-of-the-art election management platform, based on best practices from around the US and continually updated at a fraction of the cost of internal development projects.
Why EasyVote vs. Other Software Vendors?
Compared to other vendors, EasyVote provides the most complete, affordable solution for election management software. For example, you may find generic inventory management products, but those products may not be tailored for an election office. Other vendors specialize in elections but only build custom software that takes a long time to build and deploy and is expensive and risky to maintain in the long run. Others vendors will have large up-front software licenses that are difficult to budget for as capital expense. With EasyVote, you get software created by experienced elections officials, that’s already built and can be deployed in days and much less expensive than up-front licensing with no extra expense for maintenance.
EasyVote's Service & Support
What kind of support does EasyVote provide to subscribers?
EasyVote prides itself on after-sale service and support. Each customer is assigned an account manager, based in the United States and able to provide real-time service and support via phone, e-mail and video chat / screenshare. During implementation, we also provide on-site assistance.
How do I contact EasyVote for support?
EasyVote provides timely support to customers in a variety of ways including phone, email and the built-in help tool within the EasyVote client software. We also use a tool called ‘Teamviewer’ that allows you to share your computer screen for help in diagnosing any issues and teaching you functions of the software.
What are EasyVote’s Customer Service hours of availability?
EasyVote’s customer service / support team is available during business hours (7am-6pm ET), Monday through Friday and also on weekends before key election dates.
How long does it take to get a response from EasyVote’s Customer Service team?
Our service / support team will make every reasonable attempt to respond to your inquiry within 1 business hour.