The benefits of bringing your meetings and elections online
By now, we’ve already discussed what universities stand to gain from online voting technology, and how to go about selecting a solution and planning an online election or meeting. But how can we leverage online voting to increase alumni engagement with alumni associations and their universities?
Potential Online Voting Events
A first helpful step to answering this question is to consider the different alumni decision-making events, and how online voting could be implemented in these scenarios. Most alumni associations have various voting events throughout the year that would benefit from the increased efficiency and simplicity of an online voting solution:
Alumni association leadership annual general meetings
Nomination and steering committee meetings
Meetings for specialized committees, such as those for affinity groups or young alumni
For these meetings, an online voting solution like Scytl’s Meeting Manager would be a perfect fit. A meeting management solution is typically designed for live online voting, meaning that votes on agenda items can be cast in real time while they are being discussed. Voting can take place in person, if members of the leadership are gathered for their meeting, or can be done remotely, integrating with a video conferencing solution.
Apart from regular meetings, Alumni Associations also hold elections, particularly for leadership positions on their executive committee, board of directors, or leadership council. In most cases, all alumni are eligible to cast ballots in these elections. For these events, Scytl’s Invote would be the right choice.
Online voting solutions like Invote are developed specifically for elections of all sizes and complexity. Election organizers or the online voting provider simply input the relevant data, like voting start and end times, candidate information and the voter list, into the online platform, creating the online ballots with just a few clicks. Once the election begins, eligible voters can log on to the online portal from any device and any location, casting ballots with security and ease.
Benefits for Alumni Associations
The most obvious advantage of online voting is the ability for voters to cast ballots from wherever they are. Since alumni are often scattered about the country, or even the world, offering them an online channel during elections can greatly increase participation — and by default increase opportunities to engage and connect with the university.
Furthermore, using an online voting solution for remote voting is much less time and resource consuming than postal voting, and much more reliable and secure than voting via email. With an online voting solution in hand, there is no need to print and distribute ballots to all eligible voting alumni. Instead, the ballot is created on the online portal, and then accessed individually by each alumnus as they log in with secure credentials. It’s also easy to create multiple ballots for different voter groups, such as new and young alumni, should they vote on different positions or questions.
Beyond efficiencies in election planning, an online voting solution also offers quick and accurate results calculation immediately after voting is over, and can even take into account any weighted voting system you have in place, providing results much faster than a manual paper-based count.
When thinking about meetings, online voting also streamlines the decision-making process by offering real-time results on agenda items. Additionally, the flexibility to hold events in person or remotely (or a combination of the two) ensures that meetings can be held when scheduled with everyone in attendance.
Online voting has a lot to offer alumni associations, whether they are conducting decision-making meetings or holding an election. The best way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your implementation of online voting is to partner with an experienced provider who can support you every step of the way. Together, you can be sure to simplify and streamline any voting event, increasing opportunities for alumni engagement.