Online voting is increasingly becoming the preferred method for member-based groups holding annual elections. Truthfully, we’re not surprised.
From increased voter turnout, election costs savings and investments in security, online voting prioritizes convenience without compromising election integrity.
And that’s not all. Another main advantage of hosting internet elections rather than a variety of other alternatives is this: Online voting is substantially more accurate. That’s especially true if a member-based group hires a reputable election management agency with the resources that enable seamless contests, regardless of the association or organization’s size.
Online voting eclipses its counterparts because it eliminates the need for mistake-prone paper ballots.
Well, problematic ballots can make it difficult to discern how a member intended to vote, increasing the likelihood of a costly recount, or worse, a do-over.
How does online voting work?
As we outlined in our in-depth guide to online voting, internet elections are the perfect voting method for the age in which we live. According to the Digital 2019 report from social media management platforms Hootsuite and We Are Social, there were 4.39 billion internet users globally in 2019, representing a 9-percent increase over the prior year.
The report also found that the average user spends six hours and 42 minutes online each day. While down seven minutes from last year, that figure nonetheless underscores how insatiable our appetite is for digital connections.
With that said, it’s safe to assume your members also rely heavily on the internet to feed their dopamine craving during lulls in the day. More practically, people are increasingly relying on technology to complete day-to-day activities, such as banking, applying for loans, ordering food, or even hailing a cab.
Online voting is also considered more convenient than other methods, because voting is as simple as logging in and casting a ballot.
It’s important to note that online voting is available to groups of all types, including co-ops, home owners associations, financial and educational institutions, unions, and more.
Online voting is more accurate than other methods.
Elections are huge undertakings requiring organizations and vendors to work in tandem to ensure smooth operations.
As with other large-scale events, mistakes can occur—it’s simply a fact of life. However, it’s always prudent to consider all the options at your disposal and follow best practices to avoid potential errors.
- Let’s start with how ballots are produced. Instead of paying handsomely to create hundreds, if not thousands, of paper ballots, online voting versions are produced digitally. They’re also distributed online, meaning groups can forgo unnecessary mailing costs.
- Members access the ballots over a secure network. This can either be a third-party site established by your election vendor, or voting directly on your member site using a secure link.
- Voting is as easy as selecting the options available to them. Unlike paper ballots, there’s no need to shade in a circle. That’s important. If a member using a paper ballot makes an error and needs to erase their initial response, it’s possible the mistake could render an incorrect vote or mark the ballot invalid. These occurrences are rare, so organizations still using paper ballots shouldn’t panic.
- Online voting prevents such errors from compromising ballots because voters can simply deselect their response and pick a different option.
- Once voting is completed, the election vendor is notified and can check that member’s name off its list of eligible voters.
- As an added benefit over mailed ballots, online votes are tabulated within days, as opposed to weeks.
Online voting offers an array of benefits. While mailed ballots remain a popular option, the nature of digital ballots improves efficiencies, accuracy and security. Not only will organizations have final tabulations recorded much sooner, but there won’t be any need for a recount or do-over.