With a little effort and care, members can lobby leadership to make the voting process easier.
Usually, the decision to update an organization's voting procedures comes from within the board or executive committee. But sometimes, members may feel motivated to lobby or petition their leaders for change. This can be especially true if they feel the current system hinders at all their ability to participate fully in the decision-making process. If you want your organization to consider adopting an online voting program, taking a measured approach will improve your chances of success.
The first step in the lobbying process is to attend your group's meetings. The meeting is your forum to share your opinions and concerns about issues concerning the organization's mission. Attend meetings regularly so your leaders can become familiar with you, your opinions, and your interest in the organization's future. If board or administrative meetings are open to the general membership, consider attending a few to get better acquainted with the leadership.
Understand Your Bylaws
Before you propose any change to its voting procedures, familiarize yourself with your organization's bylaws and what they say about the election process. Look specifically for any provision in the bylaws for a vote by proxy. If proxy voting is allowed, then your group may be able to conduct online elections under its current bylaws. Otherwise, you will need to propose an amendment to the bylaws to allow for online voting.
Speak With Your Liaison
Club and association boards typically have delegates or members-at-large who act as a conduit between the board and the general membership. Get to know your liaison, and discuss your interest in proposing an online voting program to the board. If you can demonstrate that you've done your research, he or she may be willing to bring the motion before the board on your behalf.
Circulate A Petition
Before considering your proposal, your leaders may wish to see evidence that other members support your position. Write a brief petition, talk to your fellow members, and gather as many signatures as you can. Present your signatures to your board liaison, and request an opportunity to give your proposal to the board as a new business item.
Outline The Benefits
When presenting an online voting program to your board or executive committee, be sure to illustrate the benefits of online voting for administrators. Online voting saves organizations time and money. It's convenient, secure, and super-accurate. And it encourages members to stay involved, even when they can't make meetings in person.