Elections and Voting for Associations and Colleges

Secure and private online voting

  • Create online elections and polls that integrate with Upside AMS
  • A private, ballot-based wizard walks users through voting
  • Schedule email notifications to remind users to vote

Problem: You need to run secure online elections that are both private and auditable.

Solution: A ballot-based voting system that reads and writes directly to your Upside AMS database.

How are elections implemented?

Our elections system was designed and implemented to meet the specific needs and use cases of associations.

  1. Design your ballot with questions and supporting content like biographies of people standing for election.
  2. Choose which users get a ballot, like “All members in good standing” or “Only specific people”
  3. Choose what notification emails to send and schedule when they will send.
  4. Users complete and submit their ballots by working through a step-by-step wizard that is found in the member portal.
  5. Review and share the results when the voting deadline has passed.

It’s really that awesome!

What are the benefits of a directly integrated elections system?

Always up to date voter register: Because elections are part of the Upside AMS, we can immediately detect the change in a user’s status. For example, if the election is open to all members in good standing, then a member who paid a late fee to move themselves back into good standing would be able to vote. Or a member who reclassified into a voting membership category. Or you can immediately prevent a vote by a member who is struck.

No need to export or sync CSV data: Ever sent an email to the wrong list? Imagine if it was for your AGM. Ugh. The elections system reads and writes to the same database that all your other member information is located in. This means you can have confidence that the users and process did not get accidentally messed up while importing and exporting data.

Email notifications are baked in: Instead of juggling email lists and manually sending out reminder emails, you can schedule all the required reminders and know they will be sent to the members who need it (e.g. all members, or only members who have not yet voted).

Members vote from their familiar member portal: Instead of sending members off to another website to vote, they simply sign in to the member portal that they already use.

What kinds of questions can be on a ballot? How many?

Ballots support multiple choice, short answer, long answer, select one, and select up to X.

Ballots can have as many questions as you want. The voting wizard will walk each user step by step through each question.

How are results stored and displayed?

Results are displayed in tabular data that show each question, option, votes, and percentage of votes. Results are also hidden during an election, and are only displayed after the election voting period has passed.

By default individual ballots used by voters are completely anonymous: the most a staff member can see is a unique identifier for each ballot. Individual members know what they voted, but no one else does.

All results and ballots can be exported to CSV.

How are users notified about the election?

Users are notified in two ways:

  1. A large notice when they sign in to the member portal.
  2. An email scheduler that lets staff configure email notifications that go directly to users who have not yet completed their ballot. Add as many notifications as you need.
Dana Janssen

Dana Janssen

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