With a single entry to a pool of 480, Knox County won a $20,000 grand prize technology package from the Win a Technology Center Sweepstakes.
Scott Erickson, county clerk, submitted Knox County’s entry. “I entered the sweepstakes on a whim – I never thought we would have a shot at winning,” Erickson says.
Dedicated to helping governments improve citizen services through the use of technology, the sweepstakes provided one local government with a complete interactive technology package. The sweepstakes, which was open to all U.S. counties, cities and other municipal governments, awarded 25 tablet computers, wireless access points, a tablet cart, an interactive whiteboard and vote set, a laser printer, a conference phone, a document camera and one large-format display with supporting accessories.
“We’re all excited to start using the tablets, which will enable our board members to view documents and supporting multimedia electronically, anytime and from anywhere. The tablets will help us move toward a paper-free environment to improve efficiency and collaboration and also lower costs,” Erickson says.
While Knox is in the process of implementing a plan for all of the new technology, two new tools will immediately improve government accountability and transparency for county citizens: the large-format display and interactive voting system.
The large-format display will scroll news, information, trends and updates for the lobby of the courthouse, where community meetings are held. In addition to providing details about upcoming meetings and votes, it can also be used to share supplemental photos and videos to help constituents better understand the issues that matter to the county. “For example, if we are working on a bridge project, we can show citizens images, videos, charts and graphics so that citizens can see exactly what’s being discussed,” Erickson says.
The new voting system will probably have the biggest impact on the county, according to Erickson, who notes that he wanted to implement a similar solution in the past, but it was cost prohibitive. The system will enable the county to keep voting records, which it will publish to increase transparency and accountability.
“We’re excited about how this technology will enhance and streamline our existing programs,” Erickson says. “The government will have the opportunity to increase communication and collaboration with constituents in a number of ways – citizens will be able to see how board members are voting, monitor where taxpayer dollars are going, track the progress of projects and initiatives and share information electronically.”
The Win a Technology Center Sweepstakes is sponsored by CDW-G and the Center for Digital Government.