The right ballot software system goes a long way to improving your overall election experience, while also generating increased turnout. That’s especially true for Homeowners Association (HOA) elections, which are legally required to meet a quorum before conducting official business.
Failing to reach a quorum could be the first sign that election turnout may be underwhelming, serving a blow to your goals of boosting member engagement.
That’s why increasing voter participation is top of mind of most HOAs whenever election season rolls around.
So, what can HOAs do to boost voter turnout, engage more members and run a successful election?
Perhaps the best way to optimize your election and boost turnout is to utilize a robust ballot software system that streamlines the election process, provides strong security, and embraces modern voting methods. At the same time, HOAs should spread the word internally via email, social media and through particularly engaged members.
Ballot Software That’s Best For You
First of all, you understand your members better than anyone else, so when it comes to deciding on the best election software, you should have an idea as to what type of system voters prefer.
For years, associations have relied on mail and on-site voting because both offer reliability and simplicity. And while one of those may be your preferred method, it doesn’t hurt to explore the benefits of alternative voting systems.
One such option is online voting, which is gaining prominence due to its convenience, cost savings and the fact that people are increasingly comfortable conducting professional and personal affairs online.
Related: A Guide to the HOA Election Process
For starters, an online voting system is considered secure, user friendly and boasts a host of benefits, including: reduced costs, better accuracy, online nominations, and increased member participation. And on that note: Online integration also enables Zoom conferencing—meaning annual meetings can be attended virtually as well.
Online Voting and Accessibility
In most cases, an eligible voting member can cast a ballot on any internet-connected device from wherever they are. While it seems relatively easy for members to gather in one place to cast a ballot, the simple fact is that members lead busy lives. After a busy day at work or a long day with the family, the last thing they may want to do is get back in the car and go vote. So why not bring voting to them? Using a secure link provided by your election vendor, members can vote and carry on with their day how they see fit.
Online Voting Security
A reliable election vendor prioritizes ballot secrecy, prohibits data sharing with third-party organizations, prevents duplicate votes and can utilize ballot tracking to see how many ballots have either been processed or are outstanding, improving your chances of increasing turnout.
Social Media Integration
One of the most unique aspects of online voting is social media integration. That means members can leverage their personal social media accounts to announce that they’ve voted. As an HOA trying to drive turnout, this is a win-win: Members who’ve already participated can personally encourage others to log in and cast a ballot.
Another hallmark of a state-of-the-art voting system is the ability to conduct all election affairs in one place. That also goes for nominations—a critical piece to your election process that, if simplified, could lead to an increase in candidates. Depending on the vendor, candidates can securely upload relevant documents and organization officials can review them all in the same place. Additionally, signatures for petitions can be submitted electronically, streamlining the process.
HOAs can also use the nomination period to remind members early and often about the election, how it’ll be conducted and the importance of their participation. Of course, you’ll also want to share information about board candidates and other ballot measures.
Taken together, all these features can help drive turnout and perhaps improve member participation beyond election season. The convenience of online voting makes it easier for people to load a web page and cast their ballot, while state-of-the-security, combined with ballot tracking, provides both peace of mind and information you can leverage to spur more engagement. And the aforementioned Zoom conferencing option can make it easier to reach quorum—either by making the full meeting virtual, if your state law allows it, or as part of a hybrid annual meeting.
Proactive Messaging and Increasing Turnout
Obviously the election software you choose will go a long way to helping you achieve your goals. But another way to encourage more activity is to proactively remind members about the election, educate them on the candidates and issues on the ballot, and express to them the importance of voting.
Once you land on a date for your election, schedule emails to notify members of important dates and deadlines, including the nomination phase.
To learn more about how YesElections can effectively administer your HOA election and boost turnout with our state-of-the-art voting management system, contact us today to request a complimentary consultation.