Elections and voting are part of the annual life cycle for many organizations allowing members to vote on candidates for board positions or voting on bylaw amendments. What many people don't know is that providing voters comfort as to the integrity of the vote is an important part of the voting process, along with a mechanism to clarify the voting process and results. At ElectionBuddy, integrity is key to our service and why our customers repeatedly use us.
How ElectionBuddy helps
ElectionBuddy has a high level of integrity. So when questions or concerns about the vote are raised, we have a formal process to address those concerns to maintain that standard of integrity. We refer to this process as “The Vote Challenge Process”, which allows voters, including those voters who are candidates and administrators, a way to address concerns and formally request results validation without compromising anonymity or the validity of the vote.
As noted, ElectionBuddy’s overall goal for the vote is to ensure that any results presented are without bias and do not result in further issues, so ElectionBuddy maintains a neutral position during the challenge process. While our main point of contact with the organization is with the administrator that has managed the vote, we cannot and do not favor or collude with this person during a vote challenge process. Any concerns that come from voters are reviewed with the same weight as concerns that arise from the administrator.
A key item of note is that the administrator owns the account so they can decide whether to cooperate or not with the request for revision. This, at first, seems to place the administrator in a position of power over all voters. However, it is important to note that if the administrator is not willing to share the results or isn't willing to accept a vote challenge, it reduces the transparency of the vote and increases the level of suspicion, and can ultimately result in the loss of trust by the voters with the organization vote administrators and the entire organization. Therefore, the covenant of trust for member-based organizations is sacrosanct and ensures voters wield influence and ownership of the voting process and ultimately the organization.
From our experience of running thousands of votes, we find that the issues are simply one of ensuring a proper transparency process is followed or that the ElectionBuddy results are communicated directly from ElectionBuddy. Voters are sometimes not aware that ElectionBuddy can provide the results directly and want to see the results within ElectionBuddy to be assured that what they were told by the administrator is the same as what ElectionBuddy calculated. They are essentially curious - they don't doubt the results; they just want to be assured.
In other cases, there may be external factors or set up items that cause voter concern, which causes them to doubt the results. So prior to considering a challenge, we review the nature of the concerns and may encourage the voter to directly seek the answers they are looking for from the administrator.
These two solutions typically solve the majority of the concerns related to vote outcomes for both voters and the administrator. Increased communication is key. However, if concerns still exist, it is at this juncture where a vote challenge process can begin.
I'm a Voter and I have a concern: what do I do?
If you are interested in seeing the results of a vote, we encourage you to directly ask your administrator for access to the Results Page of the ElectionBuddy election that you participated in.
If you are refused or do not receive a response, or you're not comfortable sharing your identity with the administrator, we are happy to ask on your behalf anonymously.
If you believe that the results don’t accurately reflect the vote that has occurred, please reach out and we will explain the next steps of how a vote challenge is instigated.
I'm an Election Administrator: what’s next?
We're here to help guide you through any concerns you may have over the results of your vote. We're also here to help if you think your voters are suspicious of the results. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and explain your vote concerns and we will be most happy to help you.