The Need for Electronic Voting
The Foothills Community Association still does its elections the old-fashioned way, with paper ballots. This works, but there is a better, 21st Century way: electronic voting.
The Arizona Revised Statutes have been amended to allow HOAs to use electronic voting; ARS Section 33-1812(A) contains the following provision:
33-1812.(A) The association shall provide for votes to be cast in person and by absentee ballot and, in addition, the association may provide for voting by some other form of delivery, including the use of e-mail and fax delivery.
Since our State government began allowing HOAs to utilize electronic voting, many of our fellow associations have gotten on board and begun using this new technology. They have found that the system works well. Electronic voting makes it easier for homeowners to cast their ballots, and this can significantly increase the level of participation in elections. Since tabulating ballots is done electronically, human error is eliminated from the vote counting process. Of course, instituting electronic voting does not preclude anyone who wishes to submit a paper ballot ‘the old-fashioned way’ from doing so.
The various mechanical requirements for electronic voting are stipulated in ARS 10-3708(F).
10-3708(F) 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:
Authenticates the member's identity.
Authenticates the validity of each electronic vote to ensure that the vote is not altered in transit.
Transmits a receipt to each member who casts an electronic vote.
Stores electronic votes for recount, inspection and review purposes.
Subsection G mentioned above states:
10-3708(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.
The Amendments to the Bylaws that we are proposing specifically refer to ARS 10-3708(F). They mandate electronic voting for all elections, and they add the term where needed throughout the Bylaws.