No, however, we do recommend it for security purposes. These codes are randomly generated 10-digit numbers, so one owner could not accidently (or purposely) vote for another. Each code generated can also only be used one time, so it provides added security against fraud.
What if an owner has multiple properties?
This is where weighting becomes very beneficial. If an owner has more than one property, that owner would only have one email address and registration code, but it would have a “weight” of the number of properties owned. Therefore, the owner would only need to register and vote one time and it would count for all the votes allotted (number of properties).
What if our owners have a percent of a vote versus 1 vote per lot (i.e., a 3-bedroom unit has a larger percent vote than a 1-bedroom unit)?
We use voter weighting for this situation. The file used to preload owner information would need to include the percentages in decimal format
Can the email address be optional?
If you choose to not have us send email invites and reminders to vote, then you don’t need to give us email addresses. However, when an owner registers to vote, an email must be provided in the registration form.
What if someone who didn’t have an email wants to vote online?
If they get to the voting site and do not have their unique registration code to register, they can click the Contact Your Association button to request their code. The form automatically gets sent to the association’s Point of Contact to verify the owner and provide them with their code.
What if there are multiple owners/emails for a property, do they both get to vote?
No, most associations only allow for one vote per property. Only one email is loaded into the system, so you will have to decide which to use.
Can we have emails sent daily to remind people to vote?
We can email the owners as often as you need. Typically, it is set to two times a week in the beginning and then three or more times per week toward the end of the vote if it is needed to make quorum. The vote manager monitors the results for quorum and queues additional emails accordingly.
What if our ballot requires a signature?
When an owner registers on the system (inputting their first name, last name, email address, and creating a password) that constitutes an electronic signature (as per federal requirements of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act). We also capture additional information such as the IP address when they vote if needed for further review.
What keeps someone from voting multiple times?
Each property is assigned a unique registration code that is used to create their voting account. A registration code can only be used once. The account they create is used to ensure they cannot vote more than one time in any given ballot/election.
Can an owner change their vote?
No, once the e-vote is cast it is final and the system will show that there is nothing for them to vote on.
Can the owner go back into the system again if they have their registration code?
The registration code will not work once they register. They can, however, register, leave the system, and then log back in later to vote using the registration info they setup.
Can the system send reminder emails to those that have not voted?
Yes, we will send two additional types of emails after the initial invite email. The first is additional invite emails to those that have not registered. The second is reminder emails to those that have registered but not actually voted. Once an owner has voted, they will not receive additional emails.
What if an owner deletes the invitation email, can you resend it?
Our system cannot send emails to individual owners; however, the invitation and reminder emails do get sent regularly so the owner will receive it again.
Who can see the results? What is the difference if a ballot is secret?
The final results will be sent to the person designated as the Single Point of Contact (usually the manager or their assistant) unless otherwise designated, such as the CPA or attorney. The Single Point of Contact is the only person to receive the results to take to the meeting. If a ballot is secret the difference in the results is that the report showing how each owner voted is not available, not even to the vote manager.
How long are the results kept in the system?
With our annual service, the results are in the system for as long as you are a client with the minimum of a year.
What do we do with any paper ballots we receive?
If your vote is not secret the person designated as the Single Point of Contact can enter the paper ballot into the online system. This has a few benefits:
The vote is tallied with the online votes (making the final tallying simpler)
The owner will stop getting the voting emails
The owner will not be able to also vote online
What reports are provided for the results?
When the vote is complete you will receive a summary report showing the total number of votes received, the percentage of the total possible, and the tally of votes for each candidate or item. You will also receive spreadsheets with the details of these totals including a candidate and/or issue results spreadsheet, i.e., how each owner voted (if not secret), a list of who voted, and a list of who didn’t vote.
What is different about your survey feature?
Each owner receives an encrypted link to the survey which can only be used one time, so the results cannot be skewed by someone answering the survey more than one time.
What security system do you have in place to ensure my vote isn’t changed?
All of our voting sites use SSL encryption which encrypts the link between a voter’s computer and our server, this ensures that a ballot cannot be tampered with. Our servers are scanned regularly to ensure security. Also, you will receive an immediate confirmation email with your vote responses for your records. No one can change a vote, not anyone from management or even your assigned vote manager.
What are the setup costs at the beginning? What if we want to do another vote a few months after our director’s election, is there an additional fee?
The initial agreement includes the custom voting site, annual software license fee, and full-service management of one vote or survey. Each additional vote or survey within the same year incurs only the fee for the management of the vote or survey. Costs depend on the number of homes/units so please ask for an estimate for your community.
What if my owner data is a mess, can you help?
We will send you instructions on how the owner data needs to be prepared for upload, but we can provide data cleanup for a nominal fee.
Can I see the ballot before going live?
Yes, the vote manager will send you the ballot for review and approval before it goes live.
Can we include a large document (proposed CC&R and By-law documents) in the ballot?
Yes, a single PDF file can be included with the ballot. Additional PDFs can be added for $25 each.
When can the vote open and close, are there any day/time restrictions?
The vote can open, and invitation emails sent, automatically any day of the week at 12:00am (midnight) PST or it can open manually during regular business hours (Monday – Friday 8am-5pm Pacific Standard Time). The vote can close on any day and time; however, the final results and reports will be sent during business hours following the close.
In case of a privacy breach, what is your policy?
First, we have never had a privacy breach as we follow numerous security steps to make sure that doesn’t happen. However, in the event that Vote HOA Now became aware of an alleged or actual breach of privacy on its servers or networks, including unauthorized access, use or disclosure of owner data, Vote HOA Now shall:
Immediately take steps to contain and minimize any potential harm to individuals whose personal information may be compromised;
Notify the SPC in a timely manner of the breach and provide information about its ongoing investigation;
Regularly update the SPC on the status and results of the investigation;
Document and record all relevant details of the breach, including the date of its discovery, a description of the incident and its cause, the number of individuals affected, the data compromised, and any other facts that the SPC reasonably requests. Such records must be provided to the SPC and updated as necessary to incorporate new material findings;
Cooperate fully with the SPC in undertaking any remedial measures and participate in breach notification and reporting activities as reasonably required by the SPC.