Whether you are keen on increasing participation and streamlining event planning, or you’re interested in protecting your organization’s meetings and elections with top-of-the-line security, an online voting solution can help you achieve your organization’s decision-making goals. But how do you know if your organization is ready for online voting, and what can you do to get started?
There are three essential steps to building your case for online voting and getting it implemented into your organization’s meetings and elections:
- Evaluating your current situation
- Assessing your needs
- Allocating the necessary resources
Evaluating Your Current Situation
When considering the adoption of online voting technology, it’s important to evaluate where your elections and decision-making processes currently stand. You can begin by reviewing your previous elections, assemblies, or meetings, and making a list of what went well and what was challenging. These factors can include participation, event planning, resource use, overall security, and simplicity. Making this list will help in step two, where you’ll identify areas for improvement.
In these early stages, you should also become familiar with your organization’s by-laws as they relate to voting and elections. Depending on your organization, it may be necessary to go through a by-law amendment process to allow for the use of certain technologies, like online voting, in decision-making events. Additionally, you should consider the quality of your voter and member databases. If you are interested in holding an online election in which all members are eligible to participate, then you will need up-to-date information for each member, usually including a valid email address and phone number. This data is used to send credentials for accessing the online voting portal.
Assessing Your Needs
After you have reviewed your current situation and identified challenges and areas for improvement in past elections, it’s time to assess your needs and to identify how an online voting solution can help you reach them.
Each organization might be looking for something different in implementing online voting technology. Some common challenges that online voting can help you overcome include:
- Inefficient event processes, from member authentication and voting to results publication.
- Low member engagement
- Difficulties in organizing virtual or hybrid events
- Lack of trust in decision-making processes and results
- Heavy resource use and reliance on paper.
Establishing areas that need improvement in your decision-making processes can help when pitching the adoption of online voting technology to your organization’s leadership as well as to its membership, ensuring everyone comes to a consensus on the benefits of the solution.
Allocating the Necessary Resources
Once you have assessed your organization’s needs and considered the status of your by-laws and member databases, you can begin to allocate the necessary resources that will make online voting a reality for your organization. While the amount an organization can invest might vary due to a number of factors, most online voting providers offer a tiered selection of products, allowing you to choose the right fit for your organization.
In deciding on a budget, you should consider both the functional and security requirements that you are looking for in an online voting solution. While functional needs differ between organizations, such as the need for preferential voting methods or the ability to integrate with a video-conferencing solution, we believe that there are certain security requirements that should always be implemented in any online voting system. To help you identify them, we have created this security checklist.
Following these three steps, your organization will be ready for online voting in no time. To learn more about what Scytl’s online voting solutions can bring to your meetings and elections, get in touch with us or request a demo.