Simple and Secure Elections
Perhaps by now you’ve learned about the benefits of using an online voting solution in your elections and assemblies. Maybe you were interested in the added security offered by such technology, or you’re looking to hold a hybrid event with both in-person and remote voting. Regardless of your motives, the next step is to begin planning your event with online voting technology.
Though similar in many ways to election planning for paper-based voting methods, incorporating technology into your election does require a few specific considerations. Luckily, it also makes room for increased efficiency and simplicity at nearly every step.
Evaluating your Situation
Each organization, institution or association has unique election requirements and needs. Before deciding on an online voting solution, take the time to analyze what you’ve learned from previous elections, and evaluate areas for improvement. Has voter participation been low in recent years? Do your voters trust the election process and its results? Have you faced challenges with complicated election planning? Answering questions like these can help you decide which solution is best for your needs and can also provide you with key selling points when pitching the use of online voting technology to leadership.
You should also consider how ready your voters and potential candidates are for online voting, as this will affect your communication strategy, as well as how equipped your organization is for such a digital transformation. Do your voters already have organizational credentials that they use to complete other online processes, or will these need to be generated for the election? Do you have an online platform where members can ask questions and get information, or will this need to be developed?
Having voters that may not be entirely comfortable with voting online and being an organization that is new to digital and online processes does not make implementing such technology impossible, or even difficult, it simply affects the planning process. Regardless of your situation, selecting a provider with a broad range of experience in elections of all kinds who can help you every step of the way, can help ensure success.
Before choosing a provider, though, you’ll need to check your electoral framework to ensure that it accommodates the use of online voting technology. If changes need to be made to your rules and bylaws, make sure there is ample time to allocate for the amendment process. Once you’re ready, you can work on allocating the budget and selecting your technology provider.
Planning the Event
Well before your election, each electoral activity must be identified and scheduled. Regardless of the specifics of your organization, you will most likely need to manage the electoral roll or voter list, help run candidate nominations and campaigns, conduct the voting process, count the votes, and publish the results.
Some of these steps need to be completed with the online voting system in mind. For example, your voter list will need to be digitized and formatted for the solution. And if you are offering online voting as an early voting channel, you will need to ensure that your voter list is updated with those who have already voted online prior to election day.
However, the online voting channel can also simplify many of these steps for you. All online votes can be counted and tabulated immediately after your election closes with just a few clicks, and results can be published as downloadable files and visual graphics accessible to all voters on the online platform. Certain providers can also provide the technology to help you efficiently consolidate paper and online votes if both channels are being used.