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Aug. 15, 2011

The Sunshine State Shines Light on Online Democracy

Florida’s Senate website is honored for outstanding achievement in educating the public about its Legislature.

SAN ANTONIO— The Florida Senate has been working hard to make its website one of the best in the country. And it paid off.
The Florida Senate took home the Online Democracy Award for producing a superior legislative website, presented  this week during the National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) 2011 Legislative Summit in San Antonio, Texas. This is the first time a legislative chamber has been awarded this national honor.

“We are proud to offer a user-friendly website to the public that allows them to easily stay engaged and participate in the legislative process,” said Senate President Mike Haridopolos.  “I want to thank NCSL for recognizing our efforts to put democracy online and also applaud the staff of the Florida Senate who have worked so hard to put democracy at the fingertips of all of our state’s citizens.”

Since 2005, NCSL's Online Democracy Award has been given annually to a legislature, legislative chamber or caucus whose website stands out for making democracy user-friendly.

Florida’s Senate website won for providing easy navigation, a simple, clean and fresh design and a wealth of information for constituents and the public.

Some of the other notable winning features of the website include:

  • A bill tracking feature
  • Detailed background and contact information on each legislator
  • Educational materials

Use of social media widgets and RSS feeds. The Online Democracy Award is sponsored by two of NCSL's staff sections—the National Association of Legislative Information Technology (NALIT) and the Legislative Information and Communications Staff (LINCS). 

Previous winners of the NCSL Online Democracy award include the legislatures in Minnesota, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington.


NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.