Congratulations on your decision to use AssociationeBallot.com for your next membership vote. Using this software in combination with other technologies available, will increase member participation and better protect the integrity of the voting process in your community. AssociationeBallot.com will provide your association members with the convenience of voting online anywhere they can connect to the Internet .AssociationeBallot.com is designed to provide a user friendly experience from start to finish: acquiring the license to use online voting, the voter registration and online balloting experience, and finally incorporating the online voting results into your final tally.
Purchasing yourAssociationeBallot.com License and Uploading your Voting Materials
When your community is ready to provide your membership with the most convenient voting experience, visit the Purchase a License section of the www.AssociationeBallot.com.com website. Annual retainer clients of the law firm of Dania Fernandez and Associates, P.A. off receive a discount of more than 50% off the software price and can choose to pay online or to be invoiced for the AssociationeBallot.com license. AssociationeBallot.com licenses can be purchased by non-clients of the Firm as well by online purchase.
Once your community purchases the software, your next step is to identify the person who will upload voting materials to theAssociationeBallot.com website on behalf of the Association. That individual will create a new password after logging in using the default password provided byAssociationeBallot.com. Now your community is ready to begin setting up your online vote. Your first step will be to schedule the starting and ending dates for your members’ registration process and online voting; please use the online calendar provided to do so. Your association may wish to keep both processes open as long as possible to maximize member participation.
The one document common to every type of vote is the Directory of Eligible Voters which must include the names, addresses, unit #s, phone numbers and, for those owners who have consented to vote online, the email addresses those owners have provided on their consent forms. If an owner does not initially consent to online voting but does so at some point during the online vote, you will upload the information for that owner or owners toAssociationeBallot.com.
You will then proceed to the section of the website that guides you through the upload process. At this point, you will upload a directory of your eligible voters which must include the names, addresses, unit #s and email addresses for those members who have consented to vote online. Your Directory of Eligible Voters should be provided in Excel or txt file format. If you do not currently have your owner directory in an Excel spreadsheet format, you can use the form provided for you on the AssociationeBallot.com website. The association must be certain to verify that consent to vote online and the email address provided for that purpose comes from the owner or the authorized voter for each unit or residence in order to protect the security of the voting process. If all owners are authorized to vote for a unit, the owners should be instructed to either provide one email address for the residence or they should agree amongst themselves who will cast the vote.
Your association will then upload any materials needed to assist your members in casting a vote. For an election, you will need to send the names of the candidates, the candidate information sheets which have been timely submitted by those candidates and, if you wish, you can upload candidate photos if you have them.
For other types of votes, you would upload the same voting and informational materials you would otherwise send to the members by mail. For example, you would include the text of proposed amendments, descriptions of proposed alterations, proposed reserve schedule, and, of course, the language for the vote just as you would in a ballot or limited proxy.
The association will also be asked to set beginning and ending dates and times for both member registration and voting. These parameters should be set in order to maximize participation, but allow ample time to integrate the online votes with those cast at the meeting. For voting events other than an election of directors, if you do not receive enough votes and need to recess a meeting to go back to the members to try to get more members to cast votes, you simply extend the registration and voting periods by clicking the Recess and Continue tab on the site rather than the Adjourn and Finish tab. You will want to make sure that you consult with your attorney regarding the appropriate steps for properly recessing a meeting prior to doing so online.
Advising your Members about Registration, Voting and Vote Results.
You may wish to includeAssociationeBallot.com online voting instructions for your members at the time you mail the notice of the meeting for which online voting will be available. In this way, your members can become acquainted with the process prior to visiting the website. The registration process should take your members no more than a few minutes. During registration, a member will be asked to provide certain information to verify his or her identity. Immediately after registering, an email will be sent to the member acknowledging that he or she has successfully registered to use AssociationeBallot.com and providing an individual PIN # to be used to vote online for that particular membership meeting.
After registering, an association member can immediately cast a vote or wait until later to do so. Watch the video now to see how a member would vote. First, you will see a member who has already registered voting in an election of the Board: he clicks the tab to cast his vote; then clicks the drop down and selects the election as the voting event; then looks at candidate bios and photos if he wishes; then makes his selections for choice of candidates. You will notice the disclaimer language on the online ballot advising the maximum number of candidates for which a vote may be cast. Just as if you were voting by paper ballot, you may vote for fewer candidates than there are vacancies, but unlike paper ballots, AssociationeBallot.com provides a safeguard by not allowing a member to vote for more candidates than there are vacancies. Just as with manual elections, an online vote for an election is irrevocable whereas a vote on other matters
such as reserve funding can be changed online should the voter change his or her mind while online voting is still open.
Next, we show a member voting on reserve funding: again, the member first clicks the tab to cast his or her vote; then selects the reserve vote from the drop down menu; then casts his or her vote.
If a member registers for online voting at AssociationeBallot.com but does not cast a vote for several days, AssociationeBallot.com will send him or her an automatic email reminder three (3) days prior to the end of the online voting period that he or she has not cast a vote and still has time to do so.
Closing the Vote, Final Results and Vote Analytics.
Please be sure to have a place on your limited proxy form where your owners can print their names. Illegible signatures on the proxies will make the integration process more difficult. Once you close out an online vote (this only occurs after you integrate the paper votes with the online votes) you can click the Vote Analytics tab on the website to see the results of your membership vote. You can revisit your association’s past vote history on AssociationeBallot.com and you can also choose to have a pdf emailed to you of your vote results.
You may choose to have a representative from AssociationeBallot.com attend your meeting to manually integrate your paper votes with your online votes. Your manager, a Counting Committee or your attorney may also serve this function.
Communication is Key
To navigate the online voting process successfully it is important that you communicate withAssociationeBallot.com every step of the way. If you have specific details regarding your vote, please make sure to advise us at the time you upload your voting materials. For example, if your community has representative voting or your documents require a secret ballot for all types of votes, or if your bylaws provide for write-in candidates, that information must be relayed toAssociationeBallot.com when you begin the process of setting up your vote. Also, if the information on your Directory of Eligible Voters changes due to properties being conveyed, or changes in suspension status for certain owners. Lastly, owners who may encounter any problems with online voting should be directed to theAssociationeBallot.com Customer Service number on the AssociationeBallot.com website.