Ballot Box Scotland Election Night Team

NOTE: Applications for the team are now CLOSED, thanks to everyone who has expressed interest!

Since launching at the start of 2018, Ballot Box Scotland has been an entirely one man job. Every chart, every graphic, every post, every tweet has been entirely my own work. However, during the count for May’s European Elections it became clear that count night needs more than one person on it, especially given that since then I’ve also taken on a role within my own party that will keep me quite busy then. I’m therefore excited to announce I’m looking for people to join the Ballot Box Scotland Election Night Team.

What is it?

The Election Night Team will assist with reporting results as they come in throughout the count. Most of this will be via Twitter, though results charts will also have to be quickly produced. Almost all of this can be driven by templates, so it will mostly involve just typing in numbers and clicking buttons. The specific tasks are at the end of this post.

Who am I looking for?

Basically, people who were going to be sitting watching the count anyway – the kind of nerds like me who take the day after elections off work so they can stay up late. Contributing to Ballot Box Scotland is then effectively something you can easily do alongside what you were doing anyway, rather than a huge extra hardship.

You don’t need to have in-depth knowledge of past election results or anything, you just need to be enthusiastic and able to help! The only new thing you might need to learn is how to use Slack, as that will probably be the best way of coordinating the team.

How many volunteers am I looking for?

Based on how much I had to do for the European elections, I’m thinking three people should be sufficient to ensure smooth operation, though it may be possible to get by on two given that the EU count was extra busy by virtue of every council having all their ballot boxes in one place and ready to count at the same time, whereas at a Westminster or Holyrood elections boxes are still being shipped in after the count has begun, meaning results are more staggered.

I am also very happy to get some sources from the actual counts on board to provide juicy insider gossip. However at this point, juicy gossip is as far as that would go – I wouldn’t classify anyone doing so as a volunteer, nor expect them to do anything specific on Ballot Box Scotland’s behalf.

What do you get in return?

I run Ballot Box Scotland on an entirely personal volunteer basis – donations are welcome, not expected – and have invested a huge amount of time and energy in this project. However, I don’t expect any volunteers for the election night team to do the same. This is my pet project, and it wouldn’t sit well with me to use your labour on it for free. Although what I can offer is limited due to my own scarce resources at the moment, you will be paid for helping out.

During and immediately after the European Elections in May, I received almost £100 (£98.39 to be precise) in donations. Taking that as a baseline, I’m suggesting;

  • A flat £15 regardless of how much is raised in donations during and for three days after the count
  • An even split of donations between £60 (assuming three volunteers, plus counting myself for a £15) and £100
  • 10% of donations above £100
  • A (yet to be produced) Ballot Box Scotland badge, which is of course priceless

Or in other words, if Ballot Box Scotland receives £100 in donations again following the election, the three volunteers plus myself will each get £25. Anything beyond £100, each volunteer will get 10p out of every pound donated.

In addition to the money (and very shiny badge), you’ll also of course be given credit for your contribution.

How do I apply?

Drop an e-mail to ballotboxscot@gmail.com including;

  • Your name
  • Where you live (council area is fine – just to try get some geographic variance)
  • If you are a member or supporter of any particular party (again, this is to help with diversity)
  • Any other basic info that might be useful (diversité – it’d be good not to have The All Blokes covering the count)
  • What tasks you’re able to help with

Specific Tasks

Interactive Map

Software needed – None, web based (Flourish)

Task – Update the interactive map that will be on the front page of the Ballot Box Scotland website. You’ll just need to insert the winning party and percentages per candidate into the spreadsheet on the Flourish website.

Result Charts

Software needed – Microsoft Excel, Nirmala UI Font (should come with recent versions of Windows)

Task – Produce charts showing result in each constituency versus previous result. Templates for this will be provided, so all that you will need to do is add the data and occasionally shuffle the order of colours around on the chart. To fit the Ballot Box Scotland branding, you’ll need to have access to the Nirmala UI font, but that should come as standard for anyone who is using Windows 10.

Twitter

Software needed – None, web based (Tweetdeck), optional Excel template available to generate Tweets consistently

Task – Tweet results as they come in, with charts and constituency maps attached. If you do have Excel, I can also provide a template that will auto-generate Tweets to the same format once you input the results, which will ensure consistency of presentation.

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