Database Tips for School Trustee Election Returning Officers

  • Save and print off the database in Excel spreadsheet.  An overview of your starting point is very handy later on.

 

  • Remove all unnecessary columns. You don’t need student names, you only need parents and caregivers.

 

  • Some student management systems give you parents/caregivers side-by-side. Put them in one column.

 

  • Make sure that First Names and Last Names are in separate cells. If they are in one cell, split them.  (You can use the text-to-columns wizard).

 

  • Each address line should be in a separate column. If it is not, split the address into 4 columns – Address 1; Address 2; City/Town; Postcode.

 

  • Check you have a postcode for every address.

 

  • Remove duplicates (use data tools).

 

  • If there are two email addresses in one cell, discard one, or split.

 

  • Sort alphabetically by Last Name for the electoral roll.

 

  • Ask for email addresses.  I use them to supplement the Call for Nominations via MailChimp.  Use these to to check that addresses are current and to send out voting reminder notices.

 

  • For international students, make the Call for Nominations via email. It saves postage, and will be received before closing date.