8×8 Brings AI Support to UK Elections

‘Ballot It!’ provides election information and boosts voter turnout

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Published: June 7, 2024

James Stephen

8×8 has introduced ‘Ballot It!’ an AI-powered solution that provides voters in the UK with information about upcoming local and national elections.

According to the US Voice over IP (VoIP) product provider, 8×8, it will improve voter turnout and reduce the workload of various election-related tasks for staff and volunteers.

Ballot it! utilises the conversational AI capabilities of the 8×8 Intelligent Customer Assistant to enable a voice and digital chat service for public sector organisation websites.

Darren Davies, IT User Support Manager and Technology Adoption Manager at London Borough of Harrow Council, underscores the need for support:

“From the moment an election campaign begins—regardless of it being a general election or local election—there’s a lot of extra pressures, requests, and demands placed on councils.

“So anything that helps with that while also helping the electorate is to be welcomed.”

Ballot It!

Ballot it! has been created to deliver real-time and up-to-date information relating to candidates and polling stations.

As a contact centre solution that uses artificial intelligence to source and communicate the necessary information to users, it has two instant benefits: responses are fast and human agents are free to shift their efforts to more complex jobs.

8×8 lists four key benefits of the solution as empowering citizens, streamlining resources, instant information and a custom service, and greater productivity.

Ballot It! empowers citizens by enabling 24/7 access to information and resources that can help to inform their voting preferences.

Resources, it says, are streamlined by offering a single point of access to publicly available information.

Not only is information rapidly relayed to voters through voice and digital channels, but it is customised too with links and information regarding and relating to candidates, such as local projects.

Productivity is also enhanced as workers can devote their time to other tasks, which allows for an increase to the total workload within organisations, in the same way AI chatbots can improve contact centre performance within the private sector too.

Jamie Snaddon, EMEA Managing Director at 8×8, Inc., explained why it chose to create Ballot It!: “In many parts of England in the recent elections, turnout was lower than previous years. With the UK general election coming up very soon, and Scottish and Welsh elections in around two years, vendors, like 8×8, have a role to make sure technology is being seen as a helper and not a hindrance.

“We developed Ballot It! to support local government efforts to encourage voting, as we believe it’s important to ensure that every citizen is given the resources they need to make informed choices and exercise their right to vote on election days.”

Ballot It! is already being used at well-known UK councils, including City of Westminster Council, Liverpool City Council, London Borough of Hounslow, and Sefton Council.

Whether planned or by coincidence, Ballot It! has been released at a time when politics is a hot topic in the UK with a general election recently being announced by the current prime minister, Rishi Sunak.

Birmingham City Council has been in the CX spotlight for some time, as the public body got itself into huge debt following its costly Oracle ERP rollout. Some projections suggest that the BCC has now spent a total of £100M attempting to integrate the solution.



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