I told you a couple of months ago that it was coming. You may have read the article in Patch about it. And now, I am very pleased to announce officially: as of this Sunday, June 24th, RCA online voting is here!
As for the voting process, it is simplicity itself: Just go to the RCA website, and starting on Sunday, there will be a big button at the top of the page labeled "VOTE!" When you click that button, you'll be taken to a page containing information about voting, as well as short bios of all the candidates. On that page, you'll be able to click a link that takes you to the ballot. Verify your residency, vote for your preferred candidates, click "Done" and your vote is recorded!
You can do all this from the comfort of your home or office. You don't have to worry about trekking out to the Reston Festival in the height of summer. You don't have to track down RCA's booth to cast a ballot in person. You can vote when it's convenient for you: on your lunch hour, in the morning before work, or in the middle of the night. It's never been easier to vote in the RCA election!
Why have we done this? Well, it was partly out of necessity, as the Reston Festival (our usual voting venue) isn't happening this year. But even before we knew that, we were already moving toward implementing online voting. This is the 21st century, and we want to meet our citizens where they are. People are transacting more and more of their daily business online, and we felt that it was time to take our elections in that direction.
As I mentioned in my April blog post on the subject, making this transition had required a lot of RCA effort. When RA and RCC instituted online elections, they hired vendors to handle the technical side of things. That's a luxury we can't afford, so we went the do-it-yourself route. A lot of RCA members devoted a lot of time and effort to this cause, and I am grateful for it.
Our tech gurus, Gary Walker and Hank Blakely, spent countless hours shaping the requirements, gathering input on how the ballot should look and what it should include, designing the ballot and candidate bios, and rolling them out. We would not have been able to accomplish this without their expertise, patience, and dedication.
Our Election Committee (Gary, Diane Lewis, Debra Eastham, and CJ Basik) also deserve a lot of credit. They reviewed Gary's requirements and provided input, generated important election documents, resolved tricky procedural questions, produced and promoted our call for candidates, and publicized the election. Our tech guys made it possible to vote online, but it's our Election Committee members that will make this election a success. Thanks to all of them for their efforts!
And now that I've explained how we've made online voting a reality, I'd like to urge all of you reading this to cast your ballot. Your votes will determine who is serving on the RCA Board but also, by casting your vote, you're expressing your support for RCA and its efforts.
RCA seeks to improve the quality of life for all Restonians, whether you vote in our elections or not. But if you benefit from our work in some way, voting is a great way to encourage us to keep up the good work. If you appreciate the work our Accessibility Committee has done to make Reston a friendlier and more accessible place for Restonians with disabilities, please cast your vote. If you want our Reston 20/20 Committee to keep fighting to ensure that the Silver Line doesn't result in huge toll increases and more traffic on our street, please cast your vote. If you support my plan to restart our Education Committee to help ensure our children get a strong education, please cast your vote. Heck, if you read and enjoy my blogs on a regular basis, please cast your vote.
Next year, we plan to redouble our efforts on behalf of the community. Our new Board should have a great combination of returning members with knowledge and dedication to the organization, and new blood with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas for making RCA even stronger. We're going to continue building our organization, take on new challenges, and keep looking for ways that RCA can better serve Reston.
In return, all we ask for right now is your vote. Make sure to act promptly: the polls open on Sunday and close on July 8. I encourage you to take a few minutes, go to our website, learn about the candidates, and cast your ballot. And thanks for your support!