Local councils: How to take the stress out of election day using AI

Natalie Smithson
AI enthusiast | Tea addict | Focused on using AI assistants to win the working week
Illustration of an AI assistant collecting votes into a ballot box. 4 people stand around with a voting card and question marks above their heads, ready to ask the AI assistant for help.

With only days to go before the UK election and your contact teams battling a deluge of questions from voters, AI can help you cope.

Tackle all your most common questions about the 2024 election with an AI assistant working for you 24 hours a day. It won’t need a break or suffer from sickness, it’ll simply handle all the questions your citizens have right now 24 hours a day in the non-stop lead up to the election. It’ll also help you tackle panic questions from voters on the day, so you can focus on the polling station and managing the voting process.

Learn how to start automating responses to election queries and see what Watford Borough Council has been up to in the run up to 4 July.


  • An AI assistant can answer voter queries for you 24/7 from any channel and in 130+ different languages 
  • Your voters can instantly find out where their polling station is and other highly specific details about the electoral process 
  • Watford Borough Council is training an AI assistant to answer questions like ‘Am I registered to vote?’ ‘Can I submit my proxy vote at my own polling station?’ and ‘What forms of ID are acceptable?’ 
  • People can instantly find out where their polling station is using postcode lookup via a quick chat with an AI assistant
  • You can extend your AI assistant to other departments at no extra cost when election day is over and only ever pay for what you use

How an AI assistant helps you manage election day

An AI assistant helps UK councils on election day by answering voter enquiries 24 hours a day, on the go, in 130+ languages. Voters can find out where their polling station is and other details about the electoral process, getting instant responses even if they’re already at the polling station ready to cast their vote.

The easy way to handle election day queries 

Councils like Coventry City and London’s Barking & Dagenham are already using AI assistants to help with everything from missed bins to Council Tax enquiries and parking charges. They’re answering more queries while spending less money and customer satisfaction has risen by 67%. Now, Watford Borough Council is using their AI assistant to tackle election day questions, like these:

  • Where is my polling station? 
  • Am I registered to vote? 
  • Can I submit my proxy vote at my own polling station? 
  • What forms of ID are acceptable? 
  • Why do I have to show photo ID? 
  • Can I deliver my postal vote by hand? 
  • Where can I drop off my postal vote? 
  • What candidates are up for election? 
  • Who is my councillor?  
  • How can I contact my councillor? 
  • What are the election results? 

Since an AI assistant can live on your phone lines, website, app, social channels, messenger platforms like WhatsApp and smart speakers, it’s convenient and easy for your customers to get answers to election day queries any time, whether they’re relaxing at home or working late, out at the pub or home with the dog. 

Personalising automated responses by postcode

Making sure every citizen gets personalised information is just as vital as getting your first response time down from minutes to seconds and increasing your deflection rate, where an AI assistant answers common queries for the team.

Local government uses postcode lookup for lots of queries, including bulky waste collections, landlord enquiries and Council Tax bills. Any personal information like name or address is always redacted, so customer data is fully protected. For the UK election, people can instantly find out where their polling station is and find out how to get there.

Illustration of a successful postcode lookup for a Watford Borough Council customer: Customer: Where is my polling station? AI assistant: For details of your polling station please enter your postcode. Customer: WD17 400 AI assistant: Please pick your address from the list below. Customer: 5 Stratford Road, Watford, WD17 40Q AI assistant: The polling station you need to attend to cast your vote is: St Andrews Church, Church Road, Watford, WD17 4PY.

Getting set up in time for 4 July 2024

You can set up an AI assistant in minutes using just your website URL, then upload pre-approved content from PDF and Word documents or text files to train it in seconds on how it should respond to election questions (or you can ask us to do it all for you).

These days, you don’t need a team of engineers and AI experts to launch an AI assistant. You don’t even need a lot of time or a big budget. Savvy local councils have started automating their most common queries, knowing it opens up opportunities to relieve stress for their teams as well as make big savings.

Extending automated services after the election

Once this election has been and gone, on our platform you’ll be able to extend your automated services to other departments at no extra cost. After quick initial success with waste enquiries, Barking & Dagenham Council trained their AI assistant to handle queries for five other departments in just a few months and soon hit an ROI of 533%.

With the average cost of every call coming into a contact centre in the UK sitting at £6.26 and a chat conversation costing mere pence, Barking & Dagenham saved £48,000 in the first six months of launching an AI assistant and, long term, you’ll only ever pay for what you use, so costs only rise as your enquiries do.

Better still, we know from experience 35% of the queries our AI assistants deal with come through when traditional offices are closed and, on average, 96% of those are successfully dealt with by the AI assistant without any input from your teams. You not only reduce costs, but start the day with less enquiries too.

“The AI assistant is transforming the way our customers access information. We believe we can enjoy better customer relationships by allowing customers to contact us via the channel of their choice. Our next focus is to allow our customers to complete end-to-end journeys via the AI assistant.”

Dwain Nicely

DX & Digital Manager for Barking & Dagenham Council

Get ready for election day

If you vote to start automating council queries, book a discovery call with our expert team and we’ll get you set up faster than a politician can dodge a straight question.


Is it safe to use an AI assistant for election enquiries?

With the right platform, you can control every response that goes out via your AI assistant, so customers only ever see accurate, up-to-date content you want them to see. You can add pre-approved content to train your AI assistant on answers, edit those answers before publishing them, and update or delete them any time. Also check the platform has enterprise grade security and uses any input from large language models (think ChatGPT) responsibly and with guardrails to protect your data and your brand. Using an experienced provider makes sure your AI-driven service is safe and scalable.

How does an AI assistant improve postcode lookup?

When you tell a voice or chat AI assistant your postcode, it looks it up to find a match on a vast UK database to find all associated address. You simply select your registered address from the list, making it fast and easy for the AI assistant to then instantly tell you where your polling station is, so you can cast your vote in the election. Postcode lookup is already used on Council websites, but first, the customer has to find it. On a large, busy website, even one that has great navigation, this can take several minutes. With an AI assistant, postcode lookup is instant within the chat. That’s why 83% of Legal & General customers using their AI assistant now turn to it first over traditional methods of assistance, like web search, phone or email.

How does an AI assistant bring me closer to my community?

Using an AI assistant encourages greater communication between the council and its citizens. People can get answers to their questions any time of the day or night, on any channel and in multiple languages, so it’s convenient for everyone no matter when they need to make contact. Responses are instant, so you can nurture stronger relationships with real time engagement. It also opens up opportunities for your support teams to benefit from less stressful and more enjoyable customer interactions.

How do I manage my AI assistant?

On a platform built with the AI administrator in mind, you only need around 30 minutes a week to manage your AI assistant. Key tasks are training it to become a true expert in everything you do at the council and how you uniquely do it. You don’t need any technical skill to train your AI assistant and any member of the council can do it.