Are we ready for a hybrid Board of Directors’ Election?

Contributed by Webmaster

As the association webmaster I did create a functioning ballot converting the paper 2018-2019 paper ballot into an electronic format as a template. See:

This is a template but it works! Click on the link above and see what a voter would see in a Board of Directors’ Election.

At this point we know that SurveyMonkey works by virtue of its successful use in the Strategic Planning Committee’s Survey which collected more results than any election in LHPOA history. At this time, the Portal’s eVoting module will work, but cannot accept “write-in” votes.

SurveyMonkey does give the voter the possibility of voting for the candidates that form the slate of candidates or write-ins.

For each candidate, the voter would see an image. If they have not had an opportunity to review the candidate’s credentials, they may view them by clicking on the link to his/her bio-sketch. Voting is as easy as filling in a check box.

Are we ready to reap the rewards and face the challenges of a hybrid Board of Directors’ election? A hybrid election is one that uses an eBallot for those of us who have registered their emails with the office and have not opted for a paper ballot. For all those who have not registered an email address, paper ballots would be used exactly like those in past elections. If we use the Strategic Planning Committee’s data, about 90% of votes will be cast online.

As someone very involved in the creation, distribution, collection and tallying of paper ballots, I see many instant benefits derived from moving to a hybrid model. What are they?

1) You save on paper, ballot printing costs, postage and labor.
2) An eBallot does not require anything more from the voters other than opening up the ballot on his/her browser and casting a vote. There is no hassle to return the ballot, follow directions, worry about deadlines.
3) The Nominating Chair can send a reminder to all those who have not voted to do so at anytime during the election process.
4) An electronic ballot itself has more capabilities than a paper ballot. The eBallot administrator can add links to brief YouTube videos of the candidates addressing the voters virtually or images that reference something in their bio-sketch.
5) There is less chance that a vote will be invalidated for cause. Frequent reasons for invalidation are attributed to: not being signed by a property owner, not being signed at all, voting for more than three candidates, multiple ballots submitted by one household, unsealed envelopes, etc. One vote per household email address is assured.
6) The participation rate, higher than 60%,  in the Strategic Planning Committee’s Amenities Survey far exceeded any Board Of Directors’ Annual Election.

There is an option to write in as many as three names, the maximum number for each member household.

Like a sail boat, the idea of an online ballot to form a hybrid election needs a puff of wind which at the moment is lacking. My intent is to go beyond the hypothetical and show that the possibility of voting online is here and now. Ignore it or embrace it, but the reality is here to see, test and evaluate.