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:

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.

A homeowners association is a corporation formed by a real estate developer for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling of homes and lots in a residential subdivision.. In almost all states in the USA, they are  are non-profit corporations, with their members being shareholders. Like most associations, they need elections… this is where ElectionBuddy comes in ; ). Whether that be electing new officers, or passing motions that are outlined in the by-laws, ElectionBuddy could be the perfect solution for Homeowner Associations.

Homeowners Associations are becoming increasingly more popular in the USA. In fact, common-interest developments (CIDs) are the fastest growing form in of housing in the USA (source), so the need of governing bodies are needed now more than ever.

HOA Elections

As per by-laws, elections are usually held annually, where budget, positions, projects and changes to rules are call considered for review. Many states require a specific time of notifying homeowners beforehand, so they have time to familiarize them selves with all of the candidates and issues.

Similarly to Condominium Board elections, votes may be weighted in terms of the size of property or the percentage of the whole that an individual owns. Like many corporations, members may assign their right to vote, or “proxy,” to another member who will be present at the election. A quorum,often 51 percent or two-thirds of the total membership is necessary to conduct an election.

How Online Elections Can Help HOAs

  1. When it comes to elections, members are going to want a quick and painless way of voting. A HOA member can setup an ElectionBuddy election within a matter of minutes, and distribute a unique voting link to each eligible voter. Very little setup time is required on the organizer’s behalf and voters can vote right from their Email inbox!
  2. Confidentiality is key to any successful election, by using a piece of online election software, it reduces the chance of voter fraud. with ElectionBuddy, we use a 256-bit encryption, which is the same security your bank will use to keep your data safe in transit. Ballots are also sent by email, ensuring the voter is the only person with access to their vote.
  3. Candidate biographies, are a major benefit of using online elections. Voters get a chance to do first-time, or last minute research on the candidate. With each description being the same length in characters, the vote is getting a fair and accurate description of each candidate.
  4. It all comes back to having a direct line of communication. Using online elections, is not only a demonstration of modernity, but it’s a sign that the an association cares about making the voting process easy for the tenants.

What’s the election process for your Homeowners Association? Feel free to share your experience with us on support@electionbuddy.com.

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