From Onsite to Online Voting – Here’s How to Make it Happen Quickly

With so much of our daily lives now suddenly happening digitally instead of face-to-face, member organizations are scrambling to find solutions for their upcoming elections and important member votes.

Instead of postponing elections, now is the time to scale-up and add an online, mail-in, or telephone voting options and allow your members to have a voice, even when they can’t attend an annual meeting or cast their ballots in person.

If your organization has explored offering new voting methods, but hasn’t yet pulled the trigger – now is the time.

First: Explore your organization’s bylaws. If they do not allow for a full online election, hybrid voting (offering multiple voting options such as phone, mail-in and online) may be the solution.

Second: Ease your mind about security fears. When you partner with Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) for your transition to online voting, your online ballots are transmitted using the highest encryption technology and your election website is hosted in a secure server environment only accessible to authorized members. Each voter receives unique login credentials and multiple safeguards are in place to prevent unauthorized access.

Third: Don’t be surprised if you see an increase in voter participation in your online election! When you give your members the option to cast a ballot any time, from any device, you make it convenient for them to vote.

Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative, based in Wisconsin, serves more than 31,000 members. With their membership spread across the state, in-person elections were impractical and, for many, out of the question. Previously, if a member was unable to vote onsite at the annual meeting, they would need to request an absentee ballot well in advance.

As election participation was declining, the state made it legal to allow online voting and the cooperative revised their bylaws to allow for this provision.

In their first online election with SBS, Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative saw four times as many ballots cast as they had in any recent election, more than half the ballots cast were online. Turns out, making voting more accessible to all members was a great success.

During times of self-quarantine and social distancing, in-person member elections are not an option. SBS has the expertise and high level of support you need to pivot to an online election.

Contact us today, together, we’ll work to give your members the voice they deserve.