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Friday, 11 August 2017 12:23

County trying online platform to encourage resident feedback

Written by  CSI Media Staff

ELKHORN--Walworth County residents now have a new online way to share their input on county issues and policies.

County officials have launched Polco, a new “engagement platform for citizens to directly influence our community decision-making process,” according to a release from the Walworth County administrator’s office.

Polco, a civic analytics website and apps, will let county officials post questions to citizens and review their responses to determine some policy decisions, the release noted. 

“By increasing civic engagement through web-based polling, we have the opportunity to meet Walworth County citizens where they are and collectively move policy forward. We value our community’s knowledge and are committed to improving the channels for all citizens to impact change,” the release stated.  “Polco provides the tools for municipalities to collect citizens’ views concerning proposed legislation and even national agenda items.”

Users must be county residents to participate. Residents must first create a free account at https://polco.us/.

Polco’s platform is available via web, mobile, email.

The county will post questions on its website and tabulate the responses.

Resident responses are verified by local voter databases to ensure users actually reside in the county and respond only once.

Response to online yes-or-no-type questions are made anonymously, but written comments to questions must be signed with the poster’s real name.

Polco collects only aggregated survey results, which don’t identify users. It does not share detailed data or votes of participants, according to the release.

“During the remainder of the year, the county will be posting questions using the Polco system,” Dave Bretl, Walworth County administrator, said in his newspaper column. “We have also posted a link on the county website at www.co.walworth.wi.us.  These questions will change periodically and will be pretty basic at first as we learn how to use the system. The more residents that participate, the more significant the results will be. At the end of the year, we will evaluate our experience and decide whether to continue using the product.”

For more information about Polco, contact Bretl at 262-741-4357 or visit www.com.walworth.wi.us.

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