Montgomery County Board of Elections


Web Design, Ad Campaign, Printed Materials, Physical UX Design


The Montgomery County Board of Elections are bipartisan representatives of a non-partisan government agency in Montgomery County, OH. They have two primary functions: help voters understand the issues and candidates on the ballot and provide candidates the forms and resources they need to run a campaign. MCBOE defends the security and accessibility of elections, executing them safely and fairly.

Voters need confidence that when they cast their ballots, their voices matter.

To assure the voters in the Dayton region, the MCBOE needed a campaign that would reassure citizens that voting was safe and accurate. That message had to resonate with every voter, whether they were using absentee ballots or voting in-person. This message also had to be accessible to every demographic, from the younger digital generation to people who preferred to have their information on paper. It had to convey that the Board of Elections made every vote count.

In 2019, Wilderness Agency worked to develop a completely new messaging, design, and brand strategy for their new website. In 2020, this website and their social platforms were put to the ultimate test: the 2020 Election season.

Branding Needs To Make A Statement

Wilderness Agency is no stranger to multiplatform, multichannel messaging. Our first step was to develop a core message that would connect with the largest audience, conveying the security in voting that MCBOE sought to deliver. We created the acronym S.A.F.E. to tell people that voting was Secure, Accurate, Fair, and Efficient. To make the message visually engaging, we also created a new logo and brand guidelines for both the MCBOE, modernizing their look and crafting a voice, look, and feel that would resonate with Montgomery County voters.

The brand standards ensured that the same look and feel throughout every touchpoint in the campaign – on rack cards, voting signs, and landing pages. A brand new website, including new UI/UX and graphics, was created to help users find the critical information they needed quickly. With the help of MCBOE, our copy team weaved the required legal text into their message, and updated messaging to be certain information was communicated clearly and effectively.

The Optimized Voting Experience

Wilderness worked with the MCBOE to understand the flow of the voting process, developed UX standards for in-person voting, and both designed and procured the printed signage on the machines that led voters through the process.

MCBOE, and the voters, saw the benefits of the new SAFE system immediately. The clear, concise messages ensured that voters knew how to navigate the voting system to cast their ballot S.A.F.E.-ly. The messaging improved the overall flow of information – candidates were able to easily access required documents and information and voters successfully were able to locate all necessary information, from where to cast their vote at a polling location to making sure they are registered.

Strategy Equals Results

When the 2020 Elections arrived, MCBOE was prepared. Once again, they reached out to the creative and strategy team at Wilderness Agency to develop and implement a strategic marketing campaign to inform past, present, and potential voters. Through paid social ads, TV spots, billboards, and strategic organic social media, Wilderness covered every base to help every citizen who wanted to vote.

The project launched with a singular goal at the forefront: Keep Montgomery County voters informed and prepared. Months prior to Election Day, the team prepared a complete organic and paid social media calendar with distinct branded photos and videos for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, understanding the different audiences that each could possibly reach.

An ad campaign and targeted landing page provided an overview of the tools and information a voter could need to participate: candidates list, registration information, the voting schedule, polling locations, etc.

During the historic election of 2020, the new Montgomery County Board Of Elections website saw nearly 200K visitors with over 300K sessions.

Supported by organic and paid social media campaigns via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the BOE saw major community engagement and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from voters. Videos included a snapshot of the voting process, both for mail-in ballots and in-person voting. Views through Youtube, the MCBOE website, and social media equaled over 3,500 views with nearly 4,000 minutes watched.

“I have been engaged in politics since I was a teenager, having volunteered, donated, and campaigned for both major parties and independent candidates. The right for all members of our community to vote has been fought for throughout our history as a nation and I am humbled to have been able to play some small part in being able to provide them access to information that empowers voters to carry out this noble task.”

+Richard Kaiser

Ultimately over 270,000 people voted in Montgomery County in the 2020 General Election. The campaign ensured potential voters had the resources they needed to participate in the U.S. democratic process.

From a poll worker: “I was a poll worker for the first time. I was impressed with the thoroughness of the security of the voting process, the professionalism of the poll manager, and the other poll workers there, both republican and democrat. Thanks to the voters who remained socially distanced, masked, and behaved responsibly. Thank you to the vote counters and board of elections for ensuring the safety of our democracy. You all are my heroes!”

“My first job after college was working for the Montgomery County Board of Elections. I can only wish we would have had a site like what Wilderness created available back then.
Until the new site Wilderness Agency launched, the Montgomery County BOE was still using databases I created in 1997. Now, having a board of elections site that is useful and effective to both candidates and voters is such a welcome change!”

+John Theobald

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