How to Use Phone Voting in Your Election

Published 12/19/2019 by YesElections

For associations with a history of using telephone voting in their elections or with older membership, like retirement and pension systems, telephone voting might be a beneficial addition to other avenues of voting.

An election management vendor can set up an Interactive voice response (IVR) telephone voting system for your organization in a secure, reliable and easy-to-use manner.  This allows voters to easily access and cast an electronic ballot via any telephone (landline, smartphone, etc.) to help your election achieve the largest possible voter turnout.


How phone voting works

Organizations who utilize the telephone voting method will supply an election telephone number, usually provided on the print election package along with a unique credential, or PIN, for that voter. This PIN will be used to access the voter’s personalized automated telephone response system.  Members will be guided by voice prompts, reading candidate’s names as they should be pronounced. Depending on the election vendor, members may have an opportunity to review their responses.

The phone voting system has a high-call capacity with no wait time. The system will be available 24/7 allowing uninterrupted access to the phone ballot.


Is Phone Voting Secure?

Indeed, security is always top of mind during elections.

When utilizing telephone voting methods in member-based organization elections, vendors generally invest in software and other means to ensure that each member submits a single ballot and all votes are kept private. With telephone voting, if the voter chooses to cast their vote this way, that vote is securely linked to the central system - meaning their name was crossed off the list and no other votes can be accepted from that member. This idea of one vote per member goes across all voting methods. Regardless of the method (paper ballot, online vote, or telephone), only the first vote is accepted and locked until tabulation. 


How can you implement phone voting in your next election?

In order to adopt telephone voting, you can engage a third-party voting software provider, such as YesElections, to set up the process. YesElections sends instructions to the homes of each member, who subsequently call the phone number provided to them and follow the professionally recorded voice prompts to cast their ballot. 

The election package will include a dedicated toll-free phone number for accessing the phone ballot system and identify the voter’s Personal Identification Number for use when dialing into the phone ballot system. The sound and content of the voice script will provide the voter with clear simplified and audibly pleasing verbal step by step instructions to access, review, select, confirm, and cast their secret telephonic ballot. Any further attempt by voter to access another electronic ballot (or have a paper ballot processed) will be denied.

Additionally,  phone voting can be used in conjunction with other voting methods to give members as many options as possible—and, hopefully, increase voter participation. As we documented in a comprehensive article about common voting methods, member-based organizations can utilize online, on-site, mail ballots, and hybrid variations for elections. A wide breadth of services gives associations the power to determine what’s best for their members. 

While telephone voting may be less common than the four most used voting methods, it’s beneficial for those groups who have a history of utilizing phone voting with their membership, or who have an older demographic in which phone voting is preferred.. Because 81 percent of adults in the U.S. claim to own a smartphone, mobile voting (whether accessing the ballot online using their smartphone’s web browser, or calling the IVR phone system to vote) may be an essential form of voting for organizations to consider.  


YesElections has years of experiencing running elections with multiple voting methods: online, paper, phone, and hybrid. Our state-of-the-art software and security enables us to be one of the most reliable election management agencies in the United States. To request a free consultation, contact us today.

Topics: Voting Management Systems, mobile phone voting, phone voting

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