Why Use Online Voting
Security, accessibility, and privacy are just a few benefits that online elections offer over paper ballots, but how can you make them work for your organization? VPOLL's online voting tools are the answer.
Whether you're an enterprise electing new board members, a church approving a budget or resolution, or a classroom polling students, chances are that at some point you need to hold a vote. Online elections have proved to be an efficient way of engaging with constituents, offering a secure, accessible, and insightful way for them to make their voices heard — if you have the right tool.
There are all sorts of online voting tools available, ranging in complexity from basic survey tools like Google or Slack to advanced voting platforms complete with vote management services. To choose the one that's right for your organization, you'll need to consider your unique election needs, as well as what features would help you the most.
In this online voting guide, we'll take a look at some of the most popular online voting tools, examine which organizations tend to benefit from online elections the most, and show you what VPOLL's voting platform can do.
What Are Online Voting Tools?
As their name implies, online voting tools are simply election platforms that users can access to cast their vote through the web. Examples include polling or surveying tools that can be sent out through email, or online voting platforms using identifier keys, anonymity options, and other security features.
There is a wide range of online voting solutions that organizations can choose from, and they all have unique features that may suit your voting process. While Google, Slack, and SurveyMonkey are a few of the most popular survey tools around, the most common online voting platforms are:
- Election Runner
- Simply Voting
We'll take a deeper dive into specific features later, but as you survey the online voting options available to you, make sure you choose one that can tabulate your ballots according to your voting rules. It should also have both the security and analytics features you need to protect the integrity of your election while gaining meaningful insights into how your constituents feel, and it should be cost-effective enough to meet your budget — and VPOLL does all that and more.
Why Should You Hold a Vote at All (Aside From Politics)?
When most of us think of voting, the first thing that comes to mind is often a political election — but there are many more reasons to vote than that.
Not only is voting a good way to build a consensus and give each group member a voice, but it also helps organizations of all kinds navigate complex decisions that have multiple viable options. Voting offers plenty of other benefits too, like:
- Revealing elector sentiments
- Building trust
- Fostering transparency
- Improving credibility
- Elevating organizational collaboration
- Increasing member engagement
Whether it's shareholders electing executives and board members at a top-level enterprise or homeowners' association (HOA) members agreeing on new propositions, voting brings a resolution to problems that organizations of all sizes face.
Why Should You Use Online Voting?
Although voting can bring many benefits, some elections that rely on paper ballots encounter difficulties along the way. Online voting helps solve many of these problems, giving organizations of all kinds a way to streamline their electoral process. Some of the main advantages that online elections offer are:
- Efficiency: Paper ballots can take longer to count in larger elections, leading to extended waiting periods that may slow your organization down. Online voting platforms help you quickly tabulate the results of your electronic elections, sometimes in seconds, so that your organization can get back to work.
- Accessibility: Organizations that rely on paper ballots require electors to be present wherever the election is held, which can reduce voter participation and diminish the perceived quality of the election. Virtual elections allow voters to cast their ballots from anywhere in the world, making your election accessible to all.
- Security: Whether through peer pressure or blackmail, elections with public paper ballots could potentially be compromised. Online elections allow for anonymous voting to protect voter confidentiality, and in addition to multiple security measures that keep them from being hacked, online voting solutions often have auditing functionality that can prove the integrity of the vote.
- Sustainability: Another key benefit of online voting is its sustainability. Not only do online elections reduce paper consumption, but a simple internet connection can also replace bulky hardware that would otherwise have to be transported to the voting location. Efficient, transparent, and clean, online elections benefit all parties involved — even Mother Earth.
Which Organizations Can Benefit from Online Elections the Most?
Voting is a critical part of any governance process, so any organization that uses it could benefit from online elections. Here's a look at the types of organizations that tend to benefit the most.
Enterprises and other for-profit companies
Whether you're a small to midsize business (SMB) or a Fortune 500 company, your stakeholders probably have a role to play in electing your executives. Online elections could help you conduct your annual shareholder meetings more efficiently, and tools that support weighted voting — which is common in stakeholder meetings — can make the process smoother.
Churches and faith-based organizations
Churches and faith-based organizations must periodically vote on their clergy, decide on budgets, and approve or strike down new resolutions. As the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina recently learned, online elections can be the quickest way to conduct affairs, especially amid a pandemic.
From elementary school all the way through college, online elections can help educate students of any age. Some classrooms use real-time voting to test their students' knowledge and monitor attendance, while others use a voting app for groups to foster participation.
Industry associations and unions
Labor unions and trade industry associations must often negotiate contracts and draft new policies with input from their members. Online elections can quickly gather each member's vote, and tools that have analytics capabilities can even offer insights into which proposals garnered the most approval, and which ones still require some negotiation.
Local governing bodies
State and local political parties and chambers of commerce must often host annual officer elections and vote on important legislation that affects the community. Governing bodies use various voting mechanisms, like proxy voting or single transferable vote (STV), and online voting tools like VPOLL are advanced enough to handle them all.
HOAs and member organizations
HOAs, fraternities and sororities, and country clubs are a few examples of member organizations that can also benefit from online elections. Such organizations must approve amendments, elect officials, and vote on referendums, and online voting can provide the privacy and accessibility they need to make sure every voice is heard.
VPOLL: Features and Benefits
With online elections offering so many benefits, the only question is this: Which tool should you use?
VPOLL's cutting-edge software is versatile enough to make it an ideal voting tool for organizations of all types, no matter their voting needs. Our platform can compile votes through multiple types of voting, whether it's proxy voting, min-max voting, or weighted voting. With VPOLL, you get:
- A secure platform that's been penetration tested, is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certified, and uses 256-bit encryption along with a safe log-in process to protect your election from threats
- Analytics tools like charts and graphs that help you segment demographics and understand voting trends, along with interactive reports that you can immediately download or view online
- An intuitive user interface that electors of all types can navigate
- Instant feedback so there are no delays as you wait for the results of your election
- A free online voting trial period so you can test out the benefits of online elections without breaking the bank
Another benefit of VPOLL's software is that it easily integrates with Zoom meetings, making it a great way for employers to engage remote workers during training sessions and meetings. Conference room, congregation, country club, or classroom — VPOLL works for them all.
Vote With VPOLL Today
Voting is a linchpin of our society, and we need it in many more places than politics. Paper ballots have too many drawbacks that can prevent elections from capturing everyone's voice, and online elections are the answer.
VPOLL's advanced functionality and ease of use make it an excellent solution for members of all kinds of organizations to cast their online ballot. Our software can help your organization reap the benefits of online elections, so take advantage of our free voting trial period to see what we can do for you. Sign up for a free trial or request a demo!
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