“SBS explained the importance of using technology to simplify the voting process, while providing members an option to vote in the way they found most convenient.” ~ Amy Acton, Administrative Assistant to the President/CEO, South Kentucky RECC
South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation is an electric cooperative founded in 1938 that serves over 67,000 members across 11 Kentucky and 2 Tennessee Counties and headquartered in Somerset, KY.
Prior to working with Survey & Ballot Systems, it had been a long time since South Kentucky RECC (SKRECC) held a board election. When we had an election for the first time in years, we chose to handle the mailing and tabulation process internally, in the hope that keeping it in-house would be more affordable.
When a larger-than-expected number of members turned out for the election, our election committee was forced to increase their tabulation and oversight workload. This provided a great learning experience on how quickly employee time can add up on large election projects when handled internally. We also felt that conducting the election in house increased the Cooperatives liability in the event that an error occurred that voided the election outcome.
The following year, an even larger election was expected, with many board seats up for election and several candidates in the running (one district had as many as 16). With that many candidates, all eyes were on the election to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness. Because of that, we decided that Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) was our best solution.
In 2013, we made the change and had SBS manage our election. This included SBS handling the printing, receiving and tabulation of the ballots. This was our first experience using SBS for our election, and our board, staff and CEO were very pleased with the overall experience. There was also comfort knowing SBS delivered upon what they promised throughout the process.
As our trust in SBS grew, we discussed ways to make our election more progressive, which led to talks of adding online voting. SBS explained the importance of using technology to simplify the voting process, while providing members an option to vote in the way they found most convenient. With this perspective, we utilized a hybrid voting method in 2015 and 2016 and have experienced even greater election success than our paper-only election.
Although adding online voting to our election was a huge step for SKRECC, we understand the importance of embracing technology as it provides additional voting options for our members. We also recognize technology is ever-changing and an important method to use to support a progressive election strategy.
Working with SBS has helped to not only streamline our process, but also put the election in good hands with vote verification, particularly on some of our votes that have had small margins of victory.