What is Weighted Voting?

What you need to know

  • Weighted voting is commonly used in member organizations such as HOAs and some financial institutions.
  • Weighted voting can help ensure member engagement is accurately represented.
  • Organizations and executive committees considering a weighted voting model can be served by innovative tech that makes the process less complex.

Weighted voting sounds complicated, but it’s actually very commonly used. Homeowners ’ associations (HOAs) use weighted voting based on the number of units owned, or by square footage of properties a member manages. Some financial institutions utilize weighted voting by measuring assets owned, number of shares held or amount of equity allocated to each member.

So, what exactly is weighted voting for member organizations?

Simply put, each member or stakeholder’s votes are allotted to them based on the weighting criteria outlined by their governing organization. The formulas by which votes are weighed are typically reviewed and recalculated on a regular basis by an executive committee to ensure full member representation.

As an example: HOA X weighs votes based on the number of units owned.

Owner One has 10 units and contributes $100 to the HOA

Owner Two has 100 units and contributes $1,000 to the HOA

Owner Three has 1,000 units and contributes $10,000 to the HOA

Owners One and Two contribute a lower volume of the overall HOA contributions, so their voting power is less. When balanced against the contributions of the other members their relative voting power would be approximately:

Owner One: 1.5 percent – 2 votes

Owner Two: 5.5 percent – 5 votes

Owner Three: 20 percent – 20 votes

Why do member organizations utilize weighted voting?

Member organizations using a weighted voting system often do so to ensure fair voting, and accurate representation of members’ contributions to the organization. They may ask, for example, “should the vote of a stockholder with one share have the same weight as a stockholder with 100,000 shares?” Boards and members often feel the number of votes allocated to each voter should reflect their contribution to the organization. The greater the involvement, the greater the voting power. So, the stockholder with more shares ultimately receives more votes.

It is often argued that weighted voting is also a big contributor to good governance. By reducing the risks of vote-buying and corruption, weighted voting actually rewards members based on their engagement with the organization. Does weighted voting make elections more complicated?

For member organizations completely administering their own elections, weighted voting can make things more complex. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

As a third-party elections partner, SBS has developed tools to help member organizations manage in-person, paper, online, and hybrid elections that can easily integrate weighted voting.

myDirectVote allows smaller member organizations to self-administer their elections with fast, secure and easy-to-use technology and support. Elections, including those featuring weighted voting, are easily managed from one dashboard.

DirectVote offers the same security and ease, but with fully managed elections with a dedicated project manager – the ultimate all-in-one voting solution for any member organization, especially those offering weighted voting.

The DirectVote Live real-time voting software that makes any virtual, in-person or hybrid meeting secure and official and takes any guesswork or confusion out of a weighted vote.

Wondering if weighted voting might benefit your member organization, or considering adding weighted voting and not sure how it might affect your elections process? Contact us any time, we’re here to help.