Voting Methods – What’s the best fit?
With such a wide variety of ways to reach your members today, it can be a challenge to know which methods of voting you should utilize in your organization’s elections. You want a cost-effective option, but also want to ensure all members are being given a fair chance to cast a vote. The voting methods that are most common are online voting, mail (or paper) voting, phone voting (Touchtone Telephone Voting), onsite voting, or a hybrid of these methods.
Online voting is an easy way to reach members quickly, and allows them a way to cast their vote instantly. It is often more cost-effective as well, since the cost of postage is eliminated. A few things to be aware of with this method are whether your bylaws allow online voting and whether your members all have access to the internet. If the answer to either of those is “no”, some mail or onsite voting might be necessary.
Mail voting is a good way to reach all members, particularly if you do not have email addresses of members or are already mailing materials to them. If members are accustomed to receiving their bill in the mail, they may pay more attention to a ballot mailed by your organization. This method also encourages those that may have less access to the internet an easy way to vote.
Phone/TTV voting puts the power of voting into a device that almost all of your members have – a phone. A phone-in ballot often works well with older voters, as well as those who want to vote quickly. If you don’t have the email addresses of your members, but have their phone numbers, this could be a good way to increase voter turnout and convenience.
Onsite voting is a time-tested way to get members to vote, typically at an organization’s annual meeting. Some advantages of onsite voting include fast and accurate reporting, as well as visible election transparency. Occasionally, onsite voting is required in an organization’s bylaws so be sure to know if that is a necessary method in your election.
Hybrid voting is becoming a more and more common method of reaching as many members as possible in ways that are convenient to them. Providing multiple voting options gives your voters choices and ultimately will increase the likelihood of them filling out a ballot. Hybrid voting is also a good “bridge” solution for organizations that are looking to move toward a more online voting system, but do not want to disenfranchise voters who might not be quite ready to only vote online yet.
Want to know more about what kind of election fits you best? Contact us today to talk to one of our election experts! They can guide you through the process and help you find the best election solution for your member organization’s needs.