Thousands of association members vote from the comfort of their own homes each year, with little inconvenience to their daily lives. Given its success, and the ubiquity of digital devices, online voting is primed to become even more popular in the years to come.
The rise of online voting can be attributed to several factors, including ease of use and effectiveness in driving greater turnout. Yet one particular reason why online voting has gained prominence is its ability to streamline elections like no other method on the market.
How does online voting streamline elections?
There are many factors to consider when running an election for thousands of members—all of whom lead busy lives and have little time for much of anything else.
This is where internet elections help. Online elections enable organizations to handle all their election-related needs under one roof. That means everything from nominating candidates and creating ballots to voting and enabling social media to encourage other members to participate. The best part: Members can use a digital device to vote from wherever they are, whether at home, the park, or on vacation.
Here’s what the cycle of online voting looks like:
- Candidate nominations occur over a secure site established by an election vendor.
- Once the nominees are finalized, digital ballots are created—saving organizations money on traditional printing and mailing costs associated with paper ballots.
- Eligible voters then cast their ballot on a third-party site or through their member portal.
- Depending on the election agency, members may have a chance to share digital “I Voted” stickers with their colleagues via social media, which also encourages—or reminds—other members to vote.
- Votes are subsequently tabulated. This occurs within a matter of days, as opposed to the weeks-long process associated with mailed ballots.
Compared to paper ballots, online voting improves election efficiencies.
If you’re still unsure about which voting method you prefer, consider the alternative. If you opted instead for paper ballots, that would require mass printings and mailings. That means you’re spending more money on your election than necessary, and delaying the results.
Paper ballots are also prone to getting lost. If eligible voter lists are not periodically updated, it’s possible a member’s ballot gets mailed to the wrong address. That’s money going to waste, because you’ll have to issue another ballot, this time to the correct address. While the majority of ballots arrive successfully, there's instances in which members misplace them. With digital elections, a lost ballot is essentially impossible.
There’s also this scenario: A member marks the incorrect circle, and inadequately corrects the mistake, potentially invalidating their ballot. This can be avoided with online balloting, with members voting for exactly who they intended, without any ambiguity.
This post is not meant to cast aspersions on paper balloting. Voting by mail is still widely popular and considered one of the most secure and reliable voting methods on the market. But as with anything in life, there are ways to improve operations, and online voting represents the evolution of association and other member-based elections. From start to finish, internet elections offer a streamlined approach that simplifies everything for everyone, especially your members.
With years of experience managing elections across the United States, YesElections offers industry-leading security and a wide array of voting services to ensure members vote, and continue to do so, for years to come. Contact us today to request a complimentary consultation.