The phrase “new normal” has become commonplace over the last year because a lot has changed for people personally and in their professional lives. The same can be said for member elections, which many organizations had to adjust for public health reasons.
While many organizations were forced to transition to remote elections during this period, the truth is features like online voting have been wildly popular for years due to its ease of use and convenience—though those benefits became more enticing once people were marooned at home.
If you’ve grown to appreciate election flexibility, don’t worry because many of these options are here to stay, largely because some were already baked into voting management systems.
Election Options Are Here To Stay
The organizations possibly most impacted by the shift to remote elections were those that historically relied on in-person voting. For any organization which would vote during an annual meeting or conference, video teleconferencing became a necessity.
As the pandemic forced election vendors to shift practices, the good news for organizations was that pandemic-ready features had already been in place—and in some cases, for years.
Election options can take on many forms. It can mean having access to various forms of voting, whether it’s online, by mail, or by phone. Or it could mean providing additional services that became a necessity, such as video teleconferencing, secure drop boxes, or hybrid voting.
While many organizations used the options out of necessity, many have found more choices means less stress for both you and your members. It’s true every organization has its own reasons for switching to a certain voting method, some of the common reasons for transitioning to online voting include convenience and ease of use. It’s also important to note that organizations that utilize online voting also enjoy added security, reduced costs, improved accuracy, and increased turnout and engagement. Organizations are realizing that these benefits aren’t ones they have to give up as everyone determines what is the new normal.
For organizations that traditionally voted through in-person meetings, a hybrid solution that keeps these newfound benefits can often be the best solution. Hybrid voting gives organizations more control of how their members cast ballots by enabling them to choose between multiple voting methods. In a post-pandemic world, giving them the freedom to select either mail or online voting can help increase turnout and can be combined with in-person meetings and conferences.
While online and hybrid voting systems are staples for some established election vendors, new additions, such as video teleconferencing, have helped organizations hold annual meetings and conferences remotely. Such services are key to ensuring organizations are in compliance with bylaws and other state or federal laws, and provides more choices for organizations moving forward. For example, in-person meetings can be broadcast over Zoom allowing unit owners to participate by logging in online or listening via teleconference. Attendees can even participate in Q&A with these tools.
As with many aspects of life, the pandemic prompted us to make changes as we contended with an uncertain future. For elections, however, some of these modifications or additions have actually improved the election process, allowing for more flexibility and potentially increasing voter participation in the process.
YesElections is the go-to election management agency for associations and unions of all sizes. Our investment in state-of-the-art security and modern voting tools, and expertise in increasing voter turnout, makes us one of the most reliable election management agencies in the nation. To learn more about how YesElections can help your organization, request a free consultation, today.