How to Avoid an Election Nightmare

When you chose your online election partner you asked, “They all run elections, what’s the difference?” Then you prepared for your organization’s election for months. On the eve of the big vote, you find out exactly what the difference is between online election providers with one horrifying word: CRASH.

The election partner you chose decided to upgrade their systems during your voting event – and their systems crashed. All online voting applications were down for more than 48 hours. Guess your election isn’t going as planned, right?

System failures, power outages and worse happen more often than you’d think, but you can avoid this nightmare election scenario by asking a few simple questions before choosing your election partner.

What happens in case of a disaster?
If you get a blank stare in answer to this question, run the other way! Your election partner should be able to give you details on exactly what will happen in case of a disaster to protect your data, keep voting running smoothly and keep your organization out of trouble with your board and members.

What is your disaster preparedness and business continuity plan?
Key elements include a plan for seamless, uninterrupted power and strategies for backup and data co-location through an enterprise-level data center.

What happens when you upgrade your servers and systems?
Your election partner should never be upgrading their systems or making any changes that might possibly affect your election process in secret. You should be notified multiple times that a change is taking place and when it will happen. Your partner should plan to upgrade at a time when it will affect the least amount of clients and let you know when the system is offline. They should also let any members or organizations know about the planned maintenance in case they try to log on during that time. Finally, they should inform you as soon as everything is back up and running.

If your election partner doesn’t have answers or there are holes in their plans, it’s time to find a new partner. Your members and your organization’s reputation are too important to sell to the lowest bidder – only to find out later (and painfully) just how much you’ve lost because your election partner is completely unprepared.

For more information on how to properly choose a secure online election partner, contact us.

Have you been caught in a nightmare election crash scenario? Let us know in the comments below.