PREPARING YOUR PROPOSAL
The next steps in obtaining authorization for your online election will be creating a presentation to the leadership approximately 20 minutes long. You will also need to create a written “leave behind” for your managers that outlines your proposal. Here are some elements you should include in your presentation:
What issues are you trying to resolve? What crucial organizational needs does the election plan address?
Describe how the new online system will affect the association as a whole and what departments will be involved and responsible. Do you want your members to approve new by-laws? Setup your e-ballot in minutes and enable voters to view proposed revisions and vote. Get your results seconds after the polls close via email. Provide your shareholders, members, and stakeholders with a convenient and secure method to review candidate credentials and submit ballots.
Make a realistic budget. Work together with your accounting and finance departments. Concentrate on the total cost, including organizational, overhead, and purchase costs.
Identify a program director, we call this the Election Administrator, and subject matter experts if necessary. Estimate the cost of having in-house staff administer the election as opposed to using an intermediary such as your CPA firm. Consider the amount that your organization would have to pay in the case of an election audit or recount. Also, sketch a rollout plan.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)
Obtain data, establish benchmarks, and calculate benefits in the percentage of improvement. Make the online election a low risk, high return proposition. Concentrate on the cost of travel if you are replacing an on-site election. Stress the savings on printing, stuffing, and postage if you are executing an online or hybrid system. Don't forget the cost of returning those ballots in the USPS mail. Forecast increased productivity by having your staff focus on core proficencies and your organization’s mission.
Describe the assessment strategy for selecting an online election service provider.
Describe the technology you anticipate employing and how you will integrate it with your organization’s existing infrastructure? (Review the items under the “Information” tab to help with this.
Voters may vote online or by snail-mail. For those members who do not have email or prefer not to vote online, you can send them a paper ballot, and their votes can be entered on the website by a proxy voter, an administrator you specify to cast proxy votes on their behalf.
Provide a voting center for voters to review proposals and ratify contracts. It’s much faster and cheaper than traditional paper balloting.
IMPLEMENTATION & OPERATION
Who will manage the task? How will it be launched and executed? How will you communicate and promote your plan? Your e-Ballot can provide input and even make decisions easier. This helps ensure that you results are trusted.
PERILS & ISSUES
Identify potential risks and recommend ways to moderate them. Discuss how the association will reduce its overall risk with an online election process. For example; fewer staff members involved with the ballots.
Recommend an initial timeline and identify the assets that will be required.