As of July 1st of last year Florida Statutes were amended and now provide that Homeowner Associations (HOA) and Condominiums may conduct elections via an internet- based voting system. While a good option in theory, there has been much hullabaloo surrounding this issue.
First, there are many requirements that need to be met prior to setting up the system. There needs to be approval by association members in writing and confirmation that members have access to systems that can support the electronic voting system.
Some issues raised include, but are not limited to, the use of the electronic system vs. traditional paper voting as well as combining both. Of course electronic based systems can be abused, but then again, paper balloting has been abused in many ways over many years. Next question, how does one authenticate the voter? How can the Board confirm who hit the “send” button? How does the association keep in check one vote per unit? Other concerns raised include questions about secrecy in transmission; proper official receipt; and accessibility of the electronically submitted votes for recount and review if necessary, among a plethora of other concerns.
Although associations are not required to use e-voting (yet) I’m wondering if yours has considered, adopted or discussed the possible implementation of an internet-based voting system. Has your association already implemented and used an electronic voting format and if so, has had any success or failure with it?
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