Keeping Up With E-mail
Governing takes a look at governors' constituent service
How long does it take to respond to an e-mail? For governors' offices, sometimes a few minutes, sometimes several weeks.
A recent Governing survey tested how quickly gubernatorial staffers read e-mails from constituents and send them an answer. We tested governors because, as the most visible representatives of state government, they are ultimately responsible for answering questions and complaints from citizens.
An electronic message was sent to 49 governors' offices through the general electronic contact information listed on each governor's site. (Mississippi offers no electronic contact option on the governor's Web site.) Each state was asked to reply as soon as it received the e- mail, which was identified as a response test. No action other than a simple reply was required.
About half of the governors' offices responded within 24 hours, with the fastest replies coming from Nevada (3 minutes), Indiana (7 minutes) and Connecticut (10 minutes). Many states, however, displayed far less attentiveness to their inboxes.
The survey didn't uncover regional differences between the states or much difference between the responsiveness of Democratic and Republican governors. Size, however, did seem to matter. Smaller states were faster: Of the first 17 states to respond, only one-- Georgia--is among the nation's 10 most populous.
Most of the messages Governing submitted weren't sent to traditional e-mail addresses because most governors no longer list them on their Web sites. Rather, they have contact links that prompt the public to fill out e-mail Web forms. These forms are used to collect information about the sender and are designed to cut down on spam.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
LATEST POLITICS HEADLINES
Abortion Ruling Spurs Planned Parenthood to Target 8 States14 hours ago
Why Christie Ordered All Road Work in New Jersey to Stop15 hours ago
Illinois (Kind Of) Passes First Budget in Almost 2 Years15 hours ago
Calling It a 'Day of Reckoning,' Alaska Governor Slashes Spending15 hours ago
Court Backs Ohio's Cleanup of Voter List15 hours ago
What the New President of Mayors Wants From the Next President of America16 hours ago