Imagine a beautiful, sunny, breezy day and you are driving with the windows down on your way to your annual meeting when you pass a car on the side of the road with the driver running around desperately trying to retrieve the papers that flew out his window while driving.
We’ve all heard the stories, or even told them, about the annual membership meeting that for years hasn’t made quorum. It’s frustrating for all involved: management, owners, board members. Now, however, with the implementation of online voting the stories are changing to “we received quorum weeks before the actual meeting!”
Online everything (not just shopping) is our future and that includes community association voting. With Millennials now the largest group of home buyers (National Association of Realtors) communities need to have a way to get them involved and online voting does just that as they can participate via phone, tablet, or computer. And it’s not just Millennials voting online, Gen X and Baby Boomers also love being able to forgo the traditional paper ballot route.
Arizona has newer statutes (10-3708) that cover the use of online voting, including the stipulation that the system used does the following:
Authenticates the member’s identity.
Authenticates the validity of each electronic vote to ensure that the vote is not altered in transit.
Transmits a receipt to each member who casts an electronic vote.
Stores electronic votes for recount, inspection and review purposes.
If you haven’t thought about online voting yet, you may want to give it some consideration as it has very few downsides and many upsides, including:
It saves money – no more printed ballots and postage. Printing and postage costs add up quickly when factoring in voting pamphlets that include the instructions, ballot, and candidate profiles. And don’t forget the cost of all those envelopes, especially when you need secret and return envelopes.
It is eco-friendly – no more paper being thrown away. Not a single tree is harmed in the electronic voting process – something we can all feel better about.
It saves time – no more time spent tallying the ballots. More time to spend doing what you need to do; and who doesn’t like more time?
It is secure – electronic ballots cannot be lost, misplaced, or even tampered with. Each vote is not only “electronically stamped” with the owner name and email address, but can also include the date, time, and IP address. Automatic, computer vote tabulation means no error-prone manual processes.
It provides third-party separation – your vote is overseen by an impartial third-party entity with no ties to the outcome. This provides an extra layer of privacy and security to the vote.
And last, but certainly not least…
Online voting helps make quorum! Email invitations and reminder messages embedded with voting links sent directly to owners, makes voting online so efficient and easy to use (often taking less than two minutes to register and vote) that more owners will take the time to go online to vote than return a paper ballot.
Online voting is so user-friendly and convenient that it has owners, board members, and managers all loving the voting process, especially if quorum hasn’t been made for years. In this day when everyone seems to be face down into their phone, tablet, or computer using online voting to help make your next annual meeting a success just makes sense.
Ruth Ingoldsby, CMCA®, EBP
Ruth is a business development and senior voting manager with Vote HOA Now. Along with managing online votes throughout the US, she presents both in-person and online to management companies, committees, and boards. Ruth has a communications degree from the University of Illinois, holds the CMCA designation, and is a CAI Educated Business Partner.
What our Clients are Saying!
"Anyone, whether a property manager or a volunteer Board member, who has responsibility for running an election, should use VoteHOAnow for a virtually effortless election."
"Our election was a success, with more votes than we've seen in years, and over half of all votes came in via electronic voting."
We really appreciated how flexible and easy to work with VoteHOANow was during the process of getting our community ready to vote electronically for the first time.