What is Hybrid Voting and How Can It Benefit Your Member Organization?


People unfamiliar with member organizations may be surprised by how many continue to conduct their elections with only paper ballots. In the era of virtual meetings and digital everything else, it’s still common for member organizations of all sizes to accept only in-person voting or mail-in paper ballots. For many, the prospect of online voting and navigating all the technology hurdles is too great a leap.

At the same time, numerous organizations struggle to get members to take an active role in elections.

The solution? Give participants more options and make the process more convenient. Hybrid voting is a blend of multiple voting methods, including paper ballots and digital voting, to appeal to your members’ preferences. This in-between solution provides the best of both worlds.

What Is Hybrid Voting?

Hybrid voting, also called a combination election, is a system in which voters cast their ballot either in person or online. From old-school members who prefer the attestability of a paper ballot to those who enjoy the convenience of an online voting system, hybrid voting gives everyone a voice.

With a hybrid voting system, you can still offer in-person and mail-in ballots. You can also implement a simple, secure online option. Everyone can vote in a way that works best for them. A hybrid election voting system with an online voting option is a foolproof way to make voting more convenient and increase election participation.

The Benefits of Hybrid Voting Systems

A hybrid voting system combines the best of online and paper voting. If you’re still wondering what’s in it for your organization, here are just some of the many benefits a hybrid voting platform can bring to your elections:

  • Convenience: Hybrid voting makes voting more convenient for all members, especially those who cannot access in-person balloting sites, those who forget to vote, or those who never return paper ballots in the mail.
  • Multi-locational: Hybrid voting is useful when your team is spread out in multiple locations and not all members can physically fly in to cast their vote.
  • Cost reduction: Hybrid voting reduces election costs. You no longer need to mail out large numbers of ballots, saving money on printing, mailing, and staff time.
  • Immediacy: Online voting technology, such as email invites with a unique authentication link, allows members to cast their votes immediately.
  • Makes every vote count: Hybrid voting is handy when voting on important matters. When every vote counts, you want to make it easy for all members of your organization to cast their votes.
  • Improved communication: When members share their email information with you so they can vote online, it opens the door to amazing communication opportunities, such as email and text message election reminders. Research shows that participation reminders can increase voter turnout by up to 5%.
  • Ease-of-use: Hybrid election voting software uses single sign-on technology, simplifying the login process while maintaining security.
  • Increased reach: Members who use social media can share information about the election, increasing reach with other members and providing another tool to communicate with members and keep them engaged.

How to Introduce a Hybrid Voting System

Many organizations balk at the prospect of their members voting digitally. They imagine navigating technological obstacles while fielding calls from angry members confused about how to cast their ballot.

If you want your election to be more convenient and need help implementing hybrid election voting software, you need an experienced election partner. Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) offers friction-free combination elections with the option of a fully managed election solution. With SBS, you benefit from decades of knowledge and a team who will be with you through the entire process — from approaching your board with the idea of introducing a hybrid voting system to tabulating and analyzing election results.

Here are some tips on how to introduce a hybrid voting option to your organization:

  • Check your bylaws: If your organization’s bylaws do not explicitly allow for an online election, hybrid voting may be permitted without amending these rules.
  • Communicate with your members: Reassure members that in-person and/or mail-in voting is available as it always has been. Explain the steps to take if they wish to cast their ballot online. Detail all security measures and explain the benefits to the organization of offering a hybrid election.
  • Work with an experienced partner: SBS provides the highest level of online encryption technology. We host your election website in a secure server environment that is only accessible to authorized members to prevent any unauthorized access.

Learn More About Hybrid Voting With SBS

If you want to see a substantial increase in voter participation, give your members the option to vote online. Making elections more accessible to members is always a win-win.

Safe and secure, convenient and cost-effective — hybrid elections are ideal for member organizations looking to increase voter participation and engage members.

If you want to learn more about implementing hybrid voting within your organization, contact SBS. We look forward to discussing the many benefits of our hybrid voting platform.