Online voting is the hottest trend in homeowner’s association business, or at least it seems like it is. At last count, over 20 states in the US have amended laws to allow for online voting in homeowners associations.
Considering the time and expense that can go into preparing traditional ballots for an election, it’s no wonder!
But is online voting all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s consider a few of the Pro’s and Con’s your Association may want to think about before adopting online voting.
Pro: The process an Association goes through to prepare for an annual election can be costly and very time-consuming. Ballots have to be designed, printed and mailed to homeowners. Investing in a software system that allows Association members to vote online can save the Association money on supplies and labor in the long run.
Pro: Online voting tends to be faster and more accurate than a more traditional method. Traditional methods require that ballots be counted by people and mistakes can be made. This is also a time-consuming process. With an online system, results are accurate and can be made available in hours.
Con: Potential computer viruses- although instances of online voting bringing viruses to an Associations computer system are almost unheard of, the possibility exists.
Following a few suggestions can ensure that the Board is fully prepared before considering a move to an online voting system. First, get your community manager involved! Your community manager is acquainted with how well your current process is or isn’t working and can no doubt offer valuable insight to the Board. Second, do your homework! Whatever the option the Board decides to implement or keep in place should be well researched and in the best interest of the community as a whole.