Updated: May 16
CTS was engaged to provided an electronic voting solution to a condominium association in Atlanta. It was an exciting project that included several challenges for the board and management team, including alignment with bylaws, technology selection, and change management/communication requirements.
The benefits, however, were intriguing: no need for board candidate speeches at the annual meeting, no searching for resident volunteers at the meeting to count votes, no need for proxy write-ins, a secured and validated accurate vote count, and most excitingly, no uncertainty of making quorum for votes on critical items for the community.
Where to start? The Board of Directors felt it would be a simple task of selecting the best electronic voting web platform, but there was more to it. The first step was to determine if the community bylaws, written 10+ years earlier, would allow for the capture of online votes (your property’s bylaws might require an amendment to allow for electronic voting).
CTS planned the approach for communicating this significant change to the community. Property management needed to: a) ensure all owners who were in good standing with the association had access to the new platform, b) determine the required timeline to request board member nominations, c) give them time to record speeches to add to the ballot, and d) ensure there was enough time to conduct the voting window before the annual meeting.
Identification and selection of voting technology was the next step. Many web-based platforms offer electronic voting. Some of these sites target clubs and civic organizations. Others target businesses, and a few focus on associations and residential communities. Each of these platform categories presented a different approach to voting. After careful consideration of capabilities vs. requirements, the board agreed on the voting platform that matched their needs the best, and we moved forward with creating their ballot. Candidates recorded their speeches, items that were up for community vote were added to the ballot, the ballot went live, and it was time to vote. A few owners voted immediately, while it took some reminder emails and communications posted around the property to get others to vote. But it was significantly easier than cajoling residents to attend a meeting on one specific evening to make quorum.
The community did get enough votes to make quorum – it was one of, if not the best voting turnout they had ever captured. The residents loved it, especially investment owners who were not local residents. They were able to vote anywhere and have their vote count in the decisions made for the community.
The process to enable electronic voting for that homeowner’s association required planning and a focused effort on change management for the community. Lastly, it required an experienced analysis of technologies and cost models to determine the right fit for the community.
Does your HOA board or management team have this combination of skills? If not, we can help.
Community Technology Services has helped multiple communities make the transition to electronic voting. We work with you to understand your community’s specific needs and develop the best plan for implementation, change, and technology selection to make the electronic voting evolution a success for your residents.