The Pros and Cons of Electronic Voting in Housing Communities

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The Pros and Cons of Electronic Voting in Housing Communities

Electronic Voting Housing Communities

Some voters are wary of electronic voting in housing communities. They may wonder: how do I know my vote is counted? Could someone hack the system? So let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of online voting for homeowners associations, condo boards, master-planned communities. 

FAQ: How does electronic voting work in community associations?

There are many different vendors that a community association can use to implement e-voting, but the steps are generally the same:

  1. The administrator accesses a website, adds the list of registered voters, and creates the poll.
  2. The vendor emails each member a unique link to their ballot.
  3. The system tabulates results as soon as the voting period ends.

 

Four Pros of Small-scale Electronic Voting

1. Convenience

Homeowners are busy with their lives and families. And online voting makes it easier for people to vote from their homes. Every person with access to a smartphone or computer can cast a ballot easily with a few clicks. This eliminates the need for paper ballots.

2. Increased Participation

 Almost everything is done online now—from paying bills to ordering sushi. When an election is familiar and convenient, More people will vote. Plus, members will participate because it’s simple and easy. However, before making any changes, find out your members’ preferred voting method. 

3. Accessibility

Electronic voting can alleviate obstacles and increase accessibility for people with disabilities. For example, a visually impaired voter can magnify the text on the screen or have the text read aloud. So, consider the needs of all community members when choosing a voting system. 

4. Accuracy  

A reputable election management system enables seamless vote counting. E-voting eliminates many of the headaches of counting paper ballots. For example, no one has to discern voter intention on a poorly-marked vote. Plus, results are much faster with computer tabulation than counting by hand.

 

Three Cons of Small-scale Electronic Voting

1. Tampering 

There is potential for viruses and malware wherever there is the internet. A savvy hacker could exploit a security flaw in the voter’s device or the central counting server. This makes e-voting challenging to implement in large-scale public elections. However, modern blockchain technology creates tight security for small-scale voting. So, it isn’t worth the effort to hack a low-stakes community referendum.

2. Trust 

When members attend a board meeting with in-person voting, they know their voice is heard. With electronic voting, homeowners may worry about what happens to their vote after clicking a button. How can they know it really gets counted? Before implementing e-voting, you need member by-in and trust in the system. 

3. Barriers to Access

While online voting is more accessible for many people, some residents are still not tech-savvy or have problems accessing the internet. For example, older residents may not be familiar with online voting methods. You may consider a hybrid system to accommodate paper and online ballots. The right choice takes thoughtful consideration regarding the demographics of your community. 

 

Electronic Voting in Housing Communities

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for electronic voting in housing communities. You have to carefully consider what option is best for your community. E-voting offers convenience and accessibility that you don’t get with in-person elections. However, this will only work if members have equal access and trust in the system. 

At Corner Property Management, we know the ins and outs of implementing the modern HOA technology and services you need. We can guide you to the best voting solution for your community. Give us a call at 973-376-3925.

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