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Accurate and efficient: The benefits of response technology in legislative environments

November 29, 2017

Falmouth – a Massachusetts town with a population of about 31,000 – holds Town Meetings twice every year. These gatherings of elected representatives are the legislative body of the town, and provide a forum for voting on key local issues including annual operating and capital budgets, proposed bylaws and zoning changes.

Casting votes, although a key part of the meetings, should ideally be a quick and simple process so that the focus is on issues of substance instead of procedural details. In addition, there needs to be confidence that the results are being recorded accurately.

That’s where Turning Technologies comes in! Falmouth incorporated our TurningPoint interactive polling software into their most recent meetings on Nov. 6 and 7. Members used our LCD response clickers for a variety of functions, including establishing a quorum, taking a roll call vote and times when the outcome of a voice vote was called into question.

Based on feedback from the meetings, it looks like our technology was a resounding success!

An editorial in the Cape Cod Times recalls past meetings by recounting, “How many times have you grumbled, or at least sighed, when the town meeting moderator called for a hand count at town meeting?” The article goes on to laud the faster vote times at this meeting and quotes Precinct 6 member Brenda Swain saying that it was “’easy and really helpful not to have to wait for a standing count.’”

The conclusion? “Every Cape town meeting should consider this new electronic device.”

Click here to watch Falmouth Town Clerk Michael Palmer introduce our electronic voting technology to meeting members.

Falmouth is the most recent community to adopt our interactive response technology for use in Town Meetings, but is not the only one. Check out our case study to learn how TurningPoint also helped to transform Town Meetings in Boston suburb Belmont, Mass.