An excellent move

Published 9:09 pm Thursday, May 3, 2012

Kudos to the Beaufort County Board of Elections and the board’s staff for launching the board’s new website — and much more than that.

The board has a Facebook presence and a Twitter account. Elections Director Kellie Harris Hopkins, in an interview earlier this week, said the new website and social-media presence are ways to better serve and educate voters. Since she became director 14 years ago, Hopkins has been big on voter education and making it easy for people to participate in the electoral process.

“Nowadays, everybody is online. The majority of the public is online,” Hopkins said in the interview when asked why the need for the new website, which provides a link to the State Board of Elections’ website.

“We are seeing more and more people use social media to keep up with things in their lives other than personal acquaintances,” Hopkins said. “People can ‘like’ us on Facebook. What we put on the website automatically updates the Facebook account and Twitter account.”

The elections board — Chairman Tom Payne, Archie Harding and Jim Vosburgh — deserve credit for pushing for the new website. They credit the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners for providing the funding for the new website.

Often, this editorial space is used to criticize the actions or inactions of the commissioners, as it should be. It also should be used to praise the commissioners when they do something to help county residents become better informed and educated.

The new website allows voters to determine in which school districts, congressional districts, state House and state Senate districts they reside. It also allows voters access to campaign-finance records.

A well-informed, educated electorate should result in better choices made at the polls.