Many organizations are looking to move towards online voting. If you're working as a part of one that is, you might be worried about how your colleagues will react to the idea of moving your voting fully online. Some of them might not be tech-savvy and may find it difficult to cast their votes online. This is where implementing a hybrid voting system can serve you well, which is what we’ll discuss in-depth in this article.
But first, let's cover why paper voting is no longer effective, along with why so many organizations are looking to transition to online or hybrid voting systems.
There are several reasons why paper voting is no longer effective. For one, it's expensive. You have to print out the ballots and then ship them to the voters. This can be a logistical nightmare, especially if your team members are located in different parts of the world.
Another reason why paper voting is no longer effective is that it's easy to manipulate. Let's say you’re conducting student council elections at your educational institute. In this case, candidates could easily stuff the ballot box with fake votes in order to win. Although the possibility of this is low, the risk is always there.
Finally, paper voting carries the risk of ballot destruction (due to a fire, for example). This is especially true for large-scale elections, where a large number of paper ballots has to be stored and processed. Destroyed ballots also mean you can’t verify and audit your elections at a later point in time.
Hybrid voting is a voting system that combines the best of both online and offline voting. In a hybrid system, voters can choose to cast their ballots either in person or online. This gives everyone the option to vote in the way that works best for them.
Hybrid voting comes in especially handy when you're voting on important matters. In such cases, every vote counts and you want to make it easy for all members of your organization to cast their vote. It's also useful when your team is spread out in multiple locations and not all members can physically fly in to cast their vote.
One of the advantages of hybrid voting is that it increases voter turnout, as often, when people are given the option to vote online, they are more likely to do so. This is especially true for younger voters who are used to conducting a good portion of their lives through digital mediums.
Another advantage of hybrid voting is that it can save money. Organizations that switch to hybrid voting often find that they no longer need to print and mail out a large number of ballots to all their members, as a good many of them take up the option to vote online. This can be a significant cost savings, especially for large organizations with many members.
Finally, hybrid voting is more environment-friendly than traditional paper-based ballots. That’s because you don’t have to print as many paper ballots for a hybrid election than for a completely offline election. This is especially good for green organizations looking to reduce the environmental impact of their business activities.
One of the disadvantages of hybrid voting is that it can be difficult to set up. Organizations need to have a robust online voting platform in place before they can offer this option to their members. This can be a challenge, especially for smaller organizations with limited resources.
Hybrid voting can also be frustrating for online voters, who will have to wait for paper ballots to get processed before the results can be announced. This is especially true if most members of your organization decide to go with traditional paper-based ballots.
Finally, hybrid voting can be more expensive than traditional offline voting. This is because you'll need to pay for the online voting platform and you might need to hire someone to manage it. In this regard, it’s a good idea to look for an affordable online voting platform, so you can conduct elections without breaking the bank.
If you're thinking about switching to hybrid voting, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, make sure that you have a good online voting system in place. There are many different vendors out there, so do your research and choose one that is reputable and has a good track record.
Second, think about how you will educate your members about the new system. It's important that everyone understands how to use it and knows what their options are. You might consider sending out informational emails or holding training sessions.
Finally, make sure that you have a plan in place for what to do if there are problems with the system on election day. This is rare, but it's always better to have a backup plan whenever there is technology involved. For more information on this, check out our post on the implementation of hybrid voting methods.