“Free” is such an appealing word among clubs that are looking to use their funds efficiently but focusing too much on cutting out all costs can wind up hurting both your budget and members’ trust in you in the long run.
You Get What You Pay For
There are some things that you shouldn’t take for granted in an election, the biggest of which is security. If you are looking for a free election service, in all likelihood this would be hosted somewhere unsecured online. This could leave your election exposed to intrusions and hacks, something that can damage your governance process and severely reduce your members’ trust in you.
In addition to the risk of intrusions, there are other factors to consider with a free online election. When voting for boards of directors or bylaws, you need to know for a fact that members have only voted once – if not, all results could be called into question. If you’re using a survey site without unique logins for each member, one of two problems can arise: either members can vote multiple times or their votes won’t be anonymous. These are both huge issues to avoid when it comes to governance, so be sure to have an election system in place that can fully ensure anonymous ballots and “one member, one vote.”
With an election platform built by experts, you will have an experienced third-party to answer any voting questions or concerns. It is invaluable to be able to point to an unbiased third-party to protect your club from any accusations of bias or impropriety. This also can protect you from very costly liability – if anything were to go wrong in your election and you don’t have an auditable unbiased process to point to, you could be held responsible and even open your organization up to legal action.
Don’t let the short-term cost savings sway you toward an option that is less secure, less reliable and not built specifically for elections. Taking shortcuts here can deny your members the true voting experience they deserve and want, so when deciding on your next club election remember that your members deserve more than “free”.
Looking for a cost-effective solution for your club? For a secure, trustworthy election, check out myDirectVote!