Online Voting has arrived in Arizona (and 23 other states)
Voting for our elected officials is as American as baseball, apple pie, and ice cream. Our country has a long history of ensuring that every citizen has the right to vote. In fact, four separate amendments to the constitution (15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th) use language that specifically states “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged”. The power of a single vote is the echoing call of a single citizen to have their voice heard. We only have to look at the presidential election of our 43rd president in 2000. George W. Bush won the state of Florida by a mere 537 votes over Al Gore and then went on to win the presidency. In a state with 20 million people, 537 votes is razor thin. It also serves as an excellent example of why every vote counts. Every citizen has one vote. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, we’re all equal. Period!
When we turn inward and move to the local level the rules are the same. More than 70 million Americans live in a community governed by a Home Owners Association (HOA) and their votes on the local level are just as important. Who sits on your local HOA board probably has more direct effect on your everyday quality of life as the last senator or congress person you voted for in the last general election. We want to put the best qualified candidates forward and more importantly we want to create an atmosphere where the best qualified candidates are willing to come forward and serve their communities.
Given our propensity to work from almost anywhere today isn’t it reasonable that if we can call, text, email, and surf the web on a smartphone, shouldn’t we also be able to use that same phone to do things like vote? The good news is, now you can. The trend is sweeping across our great country and Arizona is among 24 states leading the way. Below is the specific legislative act that changes the way you may cast your ballots in the future.
HB 2592 – 10-3708 Action by written ballot; online voting
- AFTER PROVIDING NOTICE THAT COMPLIES WITH SUBSECTION G OF THIS SECTION TO MEMBERS THAT A VOTE SHALL BE CONDUCTED BY ELECTRONIC MEANS, A WRITTEN BALLOT MAY BE DELIVERED THROUGH AN ONLINE VOTING SYSTEM THAT DOES ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. AUTHENTICATES THE MEMBER’S IDENTITY.
2. AUTHENTICATES THE VALIDITY OF EACH ELECTRONIC VOTE TO ENSURE THAT THE VOTE IS NOT ALTERED IN TRANSIT.
3. TRANSMITS A RECEIPT TO EACH MEMBER WHO CASTS AN ELECTRONIC VOTE.
4. STORES ELECTRONIC VOTES FOR RECOUNT, INSPECTION AND REVIEW PURPOSES.
G. THE NOTICE PRESCRIBED BY SUBSECTION F OF THIS SECTION SHALL INCLUDE A REASONABLE PROCEDURE BY WHICH A MEMBER MAY OBTAIN AND CAST A BALLOT THROUGH SOME OTHER FORM OF DELIVERY, INCLUDING UNITED STATES MAIL DELIVERY AND FAX TRANSMISSION..
This is game changing legislation. The future has arrived. The good news is if you choose not to vote electronically you will always have the choice to use a paper ballot. You’re not being forced to vote online but rather you have the option to vote online if you so choose. Your vote is just as important whether you vote online, by mail or in person. This law only adds to the voting process and it certainly doesn’t take anything away from any voter.
Online voting is here and the benefits are great.
- Online voting increases voter turnout by 300%. Hello Quorum.
- Voters can vote anywhere and anytime on any supported device including mobile phones and tablets.
- Tabulating the results is done by a computer not by humans. No more errors or recounts.
If you’re a board member and you want to provide this technology to your communities, choose a business partner that provides both mailed paper ballots as well as the means to vote online. Come election time, you will also want to sure that online votes can be monitored so you can be up-to-the moment on quorum status.
Your residents have waited a long time for this technology and it looks like 2016 is the year that it will become reality.