Online Election: How to manage one
For many people, an online election or digital voting is often seen as quite fun and collaborative. However, this isn’t always the case, especially when voting on matters in an HOA. HOA elections are historically given a bad rep because they usually become a point of contention between groups or individuals with vastly differing opinions regarding how the board should run the HOA. Not only that, but most HOAs are still a bit dated, meaning when a vote is going to be held, decision-makers (and people who want to have a say in the decision) have to attend an in-person meeting, where the HOA board will hold a live, physical vote.
Voting in person is a hassle for many reasons; carving out time in a day can be annoying and frequently stressful, so why should people even bother? Individuals living in an HOA want the issues in their community, no matter how small or large, to be addressed while ensuring that decision-makers hear their voice or opinion on the topic.
Attending an in-person meeting where an HOA will hold a vote can be an anxiety-inducing experience for many, especially because board members or homeowners won’t be able to remain anonymous. When anonymity is eliminated from a voting process, conflict often arises, and no one is happy.
Below, we offer four tips on why online elections are a more positive experience for HOAs everywhere.
Tip 1. Make your voice heard!
As in any online election, having your voice carry weight in a decision-making process is an essential part of that process. Why would anyone vote on a topic if they felt their opinion doesn’t matter or contribute to the final decision?
An online voting system ensures that everyone’s vote holds the same weight, offering equal opportunity and power to all those involved in the election process.
The utilization of an online voting system also allows everyone to vote from anywhere, as long as they have a mobile device and an established internet connection. By allowing voters to make decisions from their mobile device, from anywhere, the number of voters participating skyrockets. This creates increased collaboration and more community participation and ensures that voting can be done in a more convenient setting that works for everyone.
Tip 2. Using anonymity as a tool.
Among the many benefits of hosting an online election through HOA software, the most prominent and appealing pro is remaining anonymous. As all members of an HOA have experienced, the anxiety people may feel when participating in a vote comes from the worry of having a different opinion than your neighbors. By taking the voting experience online, everyone has peace of mind knowing that their opinion or vote remains completely anonymous, ensuring equal representation, power distribution, and conflict alleviation.
As is the case in any form of election or vote, personal politics almost always have a role to play when making important decisions. With online voting, personal politics are minimized due to the benefit of anonymity, which, in turn, helps to increase the participation of everyone in the community.
Taking on an online voting system in an HOA streamlines the process of a community and encourages participation from its members because of the benefit of remaining anonymous. It alleviates personal politics, drives conflict situations to a minimum, and grants people the power to stand up and voice an opinion when they might not have done so before.
Tip 3. Feedback and Questions
The ability to ask questions and provide feedback is incredibly essential when hosting an election or voting in an HOA. Unfortunately, some board members, managers, or homeowners may try to limit the opportunity for collaboration when a vote is being cast. Almost all HOAs struggle with this situation regularly.
When switching from in-person meetings to an online voting system, questions suddenly have a much higher probability of being answered, which will allow for a more effortless experience for the voter. Administrators’ likelihood of limiting collaboration also becomes immensely difficult, as the process is already built out online with a set structure in place. By allowing for questions about a vote, or feedback on specific points, directly within the voting system, the HOA provides voters with clarity regarding potential issues, projects, or documents.
With an online voting system, users can even leave comments on specific questions within the vote, creating an open and collaborative environment for discussion. The increase in interaction between community members, board members, and administrators improves the efficiency of an HOA and boosts morale. It ensures everyone is represented and can help improve the quality of life for everyone in the community.
Tip 4. Gathering and Analyzing Data
There’s nothing more frustrating and time-consuming than sorting through physical ballots and gathering/sorting data. Even more frustrating, most of the time, all of that data has to get uploaded into a computer in the form of an excel file or the like. There is too much work and wasted time that can come with hosting the voting process in an HOA in person. Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned the cost of materials that can go into this process.
Gathering and analyzing data becomes streamlined when adopting an online election system in an HOA. Cost is reduced, time is saved, ease of use becomes a factor, and participation skyrockets.
Online voting systems give administrators the power to view results as they come through in real-time. Administrators (and voters, depending on the method used) can track the progress of a vote, display results in graphical form, send results to the community with the push of a button, and even export the results in .XLF or .PDF format. The entire data analysis process becomes a 5-minute endeavor, highlighting the benefit of viewing or downloading the results on a mobile device or printer from anywhere.
TownSq makes all of the benefits of online voting discussed above possible for HOAs overnight. With its suite of tools designed to help the online voting process in an HOA streamline quickly and seamlessly, there’s no need to look further for your new online voting system; TownSq has you covered.
Digital Voting by TownSq can give your HOA community instant access to an online election:
Ballot Creation - Upon creation of a ballot with the Digital Voting feature in TownSq, users can set a specific time-frame for when a vote will become available to homeowners, attach any amount of questions, upload any necessary links, files, or documents related to the vote, or use a virtual meeting to discuss the vote by displaying it directly on the screen.
Results - Once a vote has been completed, board members (and sometimes homeowners, with permission) can view the vote results within TownSq. Data is displayed in graphical form and can be made public or confidential. The results within TownSq enable decision-makers to make informed and data-driven decisions, ensuring that feedback from the community always takes precedence over anything else.
Data - All data from the results and reporting of a Digital Vote can be accessed in real-time, meaning that users can track the progress of a vote as it is happening. Residents can also comment on the data collected after voting to ensure their voice is heard when a decision is made. Lastly, administrators can export data in XLF or PDF format once voting has concluded, making it easier to send results or save them to your device for easy access.
Contact us by clicking the button below to see if your HOA is eligible for the TownSq Online Voting System. We look forward to hearing from you!