How changing laws impact electronic voting for Arizona HOAs

July 21, 2016

With the increasing prevalence of HOAs in Arizona, community association legislation is being modified to better address homeowner rights and processes. The changes come into effect Aug 6, 2016, and one regulation specifically addresses electronic voting. This has led to several questions about how ElectionBuddy will work within the new guidelines so we’re providing a high-level summary for each requirement.

HB2592 is being added to the Arizona Nonprofit Corporation Act, and specifies that a nonprofit corporation may conduct a vote by electronic means, so long as the online voting system meets all of the following requirements:

1. Authenticates the member’s identity

ElectionBuddy can verify identity in two different ways:

  • By assigning an electronic voting key code, unique to each voter. These voting keys, often in complex alpha-numerical formats such as ADBC-123B-D6B6-A7BC, are impossible to replicate or duplicate, and can only be used once before they are “destroyed”.
  • The association can supply members with custom key codes, which they’ve already validated. ElectionBuddy will then use a 2-factor authentication process to verify the right person is using the right key. This process may include matching the voter’s phone number, Facebook profile or email address with the information on record. The association may decide which 2 factors ElectionBuddy will use to verify identity.

2. Authenticates the validity of each electronic vote to ensure that the vote is not altered in transit

ElectionBuddy takes vote security extremely seriously. Ballots are encrypted using SSL encryption (the same security and encryption banks use). SSL encryption means the vote information does not go out over the internet, but is instead transmitted from the web browser to an SSL-secured server. There is no opportunity for data to be edited, tampered with or corrupted in this process. ElectionBuddy is also PCI-compliant, the defacto standard for online financial transactions, meaning our site has passed all scans and audits for any security vulnerabilities.

3. Transmits a receipt to each member who casts an electronic vote

After each member casts their ballot via ElectionBuddy, they’ll arrive at a verification screen to review their votes before submitting. Once they submit, a message will be displayed that confirms their electronic ballot has been received. Members are free to print this and/or the verification screen as receipt of their submission. If emailed receipts are preferred by your association, please let your ElectionBuddy representative know.

4. Stores electronic votes for recount, inspection and review purposes

Votes are stored within ElectionBuddy for up to 7 years, after which they are automatically destroyed. If the association wishes to manually destroy votes, they can do so at any time before the 7-year terminus. Administrators in ElectionBuddy have total control over what information may be shared or destroyed.

Each of the above regulations comes with its own set of questions and concerns, more than we can address here. If you’d like to discuss any of these further, feel free to contact us and we’ll do our best to help.

If you’d like to read more about the changes, this document from Shaw & Lines law firm may be helpful.

If you’re new to electronic voting and want to see how it can work for you, visit our site to learn more or create a free trial account.

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