Twitter a hit at the polls
Press Release Date: 9 May 2012
Tameside Council is thought to be the first authority to bring to life the full election process with on-the-ground tweets from the election office, returning officer, counters and polling station staff.
The move follows the success of the council's 24-hour twitterthon last June when more than 60 services tweeted throughout the day and night, highlighting the breadth, challenges and value of their work.
Similarly, the election tweets helped to raise awareness of the democratic process and encourage more people to vote while also dispelling some of the common myths - for example people thinking they needed their polling card to vote.
The #TLE12 twitter feed proved to be a lively insight into the proceedings and was also adopted by many voters, journalists and politicians who added their own comments and perceptions.
A voter playing the piano in a polling station, a cat found in a polling booth and voters being entertained by a West African drum band rehearsing for Jubilee celebrations were among the many stories coming from polling stations.
While the feed also highlighted the exciting build up to the results at the count - with external contributors adding their own thoughts and speculations.
Tameside Council Deputy Executive Leader Cllr John Taylor, who is responsible for communications, said: “We are always looking at new ways of communicating with local people and helping them to get more involved in the democratic process.
“Twitter is a great way of capturing the sense of responsibility and professionalism but also excitement which surrounds the local elections while also providing live updates from the ground. Hopefully it helped to inform more people about the process and also encouraged them to vote.”