Online voting promises to revolutionize the way elections are held. The implementation of remote online voting software opens the gate for many people, even those who were previously disenfranchised, to have their voices heard. By using an online voting solution, both election organizers and voters can have a more enjoyable experience when it is time for electors to cast their ballots.
What is an online voting system?
An online voting system is a digital platform designed to handle the election process through the Internet. Thanks to the latest online voting developments, elections held online can be practiced in a fast, safe, and straightforward fashion.
What’s the purpose of an online voting system?
The purpose of an online voting system is to organize the election management process, enhancing the voting experience for all parties involved. Using an online voting tool streamlines choosing leaders and making strategic decisions within an organization.
The competencies of online voting platforms allow any organization to perform the following operations:
- Efficiently elect leadership: Online voting systems can be adapted to work on both a large and small scale. This potential for scalability makes online voting tools viable for governmental elections as well as for enhancing the voting capabilities of boards of directors, unions, homeowner associations, and any other type of organization that requires administration.
- Admitting new members: The modernized and organized nature of remote online voting solutions simplifies the admission of new participants to a group. The system can be set up to offer a standardized and fair evaluation process, in addition to helping new candidates settle their expectations.
- Data gathering: Online voting systems can collect anonymous feedback from voters. Individual electronic ballots remain private, allowing employees to express their true feelings about their working conditions without any fear of repercussions. People in managerial positions, in turn, receive more accurate information about the condition of operations and the election process.
- Improve the functionality of voting: Online voting adoption simplifies election administration up to a point where it is possible to resolve many issues through voting. The efficiency of online elections can lead organizations to vote on how to implement operational changes, adjust budgets, and devise other variations in the way an establishment is run.
What to look for in an online voting system
For it to be worth its deployment, an online voting solution must reduce the resources and man-hours needed to hold elections. This is true for both the election organizers and every person who participates with their vote. Hidden costs related to electoral activities include the use of paper for ballots, fuel for transportation, and the hiring of personnel to handle vote tabulation.
A good remote online voting solution possesses labor and cost-saving advantages over traditional methods of voting, such as not needing to print electronic ballots and voters not having to commute to a polling station. Furthermore, modern online voting platforms can accelerate many operations with the use of artificial intelligence.
An online voting platform is a digital solution so it should be able to perform many tasks related to voting automatically. With the use of data management and analysis tools, the transmission of ballots should not only be instantaneous, but people in charge of the elections should also be able to actively monitor voter turnout and other critical information.
In the same vein, voting elections online should allow for automatic election results, as the counting of ballots can be performed immediately by the online voting platform. If an online voting solution has the right reporting tools integrated, then the election administration will be able to access an intuitive dashboard containing valuable data and statistics about electoral operations.
Ease of use
Just like with any type of software, the processes and interface of online voting systems should be easy to understand. Supplying voters with a clean and simple system where they can effortlessly connect to vote should be a major priority of every online voting platform.
To provide the most familiar environment for voters, the latest advancements in online voting systems allow voters to access the platform and cast their ballots from the comfort of their smartphones. Organizations can even remind participants that a new voting session is coming by setting up customizable notifications. Voters can receive information about upcoming elections via SMS, email, phone calls, and other methods.
There are many security aspects to consider during an election, especially when they are performed remotely. The security of online networks is highly reliant on system architecture so online voting systems must be designed to be resilient against threats of sabotage and system failure.
An online voting platform must include built-in security measures to guarantee the stability and high performance of the voting network. Voter data may include very sensitive information including participants’ identities, emails, and physical addresses, so it is in an organization’s best interest to keep all data safe from hackers and other malicious third parties. Some of the most important security features include: data encryption, unique member PINS, multi-level verification and automatic blocking of fraudulent access.
To be valid, election results must be transparent and reliable. Having an easily auditable platform guarantees that all parties can be satisfied with the veracity of the results. While the privacy of every participant must be protected, the data gathered by online voting systems must be available for auditors to monitor and validate.
Option.vote has been working for years with experts on auditing at Deloitte, EY, and RCGT to provide election organizers with the most transparent voting environment without compromising the anonymity and security of all participants. Coupled with secure system architecture, good auditing practices certify that elections are fair and safe.
Not only should the back-end and system architecture of an online voting platform adapt to an organization’s needs, but the layout and interface of the system should be customizable as well. With the right flexibility, the same online voting platform used for local elections can be used to choose the winning contestants at a game show.
Online voting software features an organization should be able to customize include being able to choose from a variety of voting methods. In case it is needed, the ability to change languages should also be sought after. Furthermore, the platform should be able to visually adapt to a company’s branding, including its logo and color palette.
An organization can give many uses to the data gathered during the election process. Data analysis and reporting tools, which may come integrated into online voting systems, allow for the instantaneous communication of election results and other information. However, the potential benefits of data don’t end there.
By analyzing patterns in the way elections are practiced, election organizers can learn how effective their strategies really are. If any process can generate quantifiable data, then it can be used to gauge and improve the efficiency of operations. Data from test votes, for example, can be used to devise more efficient ways of designing and displaying official ballots.
Even when all the precautions in the world have been taken, things can still go wrong. For instance, an online voting platform could be perfectly set up but a mistake caused by human errors could cause a system malfunction. For this kind of situation, it is better to acquire an online voting solution that provides technical support for organizers.
In the best-case scenario, the providers of an online voting system will supply technical support before, during, and after the elections take place. Option.vote offers its users full support, ensuring the elections are accessible to every participant and that the system runs smoothly throughout the duration of the elections.