Many aspects of daily operations have changed in 2020, including our ability to meet with other people face-to-face. This has been a change that’s greatly impacted community associations throughout the country, and The Management Trust has aided our communities in navigating these changes as they come. One aspect of HOA living that has had to shift this year is board meetings. With in-person gatherings restricted throughout most of the year, there has been an increased interest in the possibility of online voting. Although this is not permitted in every state, it’s a great option for many community associations due to its convenience, greater accuracy, and—most importantly—safety benefits.
Implementing online voting for your HOA board meetings can ultimately have a drastic effect on the change in your community, since it eliminates the need for physical attendance. If board members are unable to attend meetings due to illness, traveling, work, or any other reasons, this can be detrimental and affect the outcome of essential decisions. The convenience of online voting, which can be conducted from any location with Internet connection, ensures that you’ll receive maximum votes and, therefore, a result that more accurately reflects the desire of the entire community.
Efficiency & Accuracy
Digital voting systems are also more accurate than hand-counting ballots. With in-person voting, there’s the possibility of ballots being misplaced, damaged, or not returned at all, all of which will skew the results and deprive board members of their vote. Online voting will not only ensure that every vote is counted, but it will also allow results to be tallied almost instantaneously, since ballots would be counted digitally and not by hand.
Many homeowners associations shy away from online voting because they believe it will cost more than physical ballots. However, over time, digital voting is shown to be more cost effective. With in-person voting, there are costs associated with designing, printing, and distributing the ballots for each vote. With an online system, there is an initial cost for the software, but there are usually no costs after initial setup, regardless of how many votes you conduct or how many board members participate.
Health & Safety
And then, of course, there’s the obvious. With COVID-19 restrictions making in-person meetings unsafe at best and illegal at worst, it’s become difficult to conduct basic HOA meetings in 2020. This is likely to continue into 2021, and it raises questions and concerns for public health and safety measures years in the future. It’s always a good idea to have electronic voting systems in place in case of restrictions such as the ones residents are facing today. Online voting eliminates the risk of transmission of illness, protecting the health and safety of all board members.
If your state permits electronic voting, it’s a fantastic safe, secure, and efficient alternative to physical ballots. Especially during times when public health is a concern, being able to cast votes from the comfort of your own home on your own device will reassure homeowners that their health and safety is being taken seriously. If you’re thinking about implementing online voting for your homeowners association, speak with The Management Trust community association management firm today to find out more and decide if this option is right for you. We can help you find the right solution for your community and handle the implementation process so you can focus on more important matters at hand. To speak to an employee-owner today, fill out our online form or contact us through one of our many offices.