Safeguard your Election against attempted Fraudulent Voting!
AV follows and utilizes industry-standard security measures. However, your set-up decisions can expose vulnerability to election fraud, particularity when it come to voter login credentials. Voter fraud on our AV platform has been rare; however, each case was related to the creation of insecure login credentials. Following the below guidelines when creating your login credentials will help you deter fraudulent voters.
Require 2 login credentials. A single voter credential is much easier to guess or manipulate.
Don’t select easily guessable credentials for voter login. If your set up is something like Email and Last Name, unfortunately, there could be a published directory that has this information. You know your members; so ask yourself this question: is the credential something that is well-known to other members, or just known by the individual voter? Your 1st voter credential should uniquely identify the voter, and the second one only the voter knows (and you have in your database) to make it more secure.
If your member records are limited to public profile information such as name, address, email, etc., consider requiring an AV system-generated password as a credential. The password is unique to each voter and limited to a single election.
Want to maximize your fraud-prevention? Utilize AV’s voter verified email service. Members receive a unique, coded URL that requires them to access their email of record to cast their ballot. Using advanced secure encryption signatures, we provide a second layer to confirm your voters’ identification by validating through their email of record with your association.
Tools to Investigate and Squash Fraud Voting!
While the thought of voter fraud can be alarming, AV offers tools to help you quickly investigate any fraud claims and monitor for unexpected activity. So you can squash any potential threats ASAP and retain the integrity of your election. Here are the tools available to hep you investigate fraud:
Voting Receipt: Utilize the AV Voting Receipt email feature. Your voters will raise the red-flag if a confirmation email is received prior to the voter casting a ballot.
Failed Login Tracking: You can see failed login attempts from the Voting Manager administrative portal. Useful for monitoring for potential fraudulent login activity. You can sort and search by IP address and attempted login values to see trends or find details for a specific user credential.
IP Reporting: Check out our IP reporting option to review IP address and Browser agent details regarding each ballot cast. Sort the report by IP address to look for trends.
IP Address Location: You can use an online tool, such as https://www.iplocation.net/ to look up the general location of the IP address. Be careful; you can only get so much public information from an IP address. You cannot always identify someone exactly, and they can be shared or moved by the cable or broadband company.
Support: At any time, you can request help from the Association Voting support staff.
For more details on fraud monitoring and election security, please reach out to us!
“Proxies have increasingly become an important element in homeowners associations, and yet they remain a point of confusion for many board members. Proxies can be utilized to benefit the community aspect of a homeowners association, acting as a stand-in for absent residents. Such a tool as a proxy can be indispensable to a well-functioning HOA…”Source: AssociationHelpNow.com
Proxy voting expands the opportunities for home owners and condominium owners to participate in association governance and policy-making. More importantly, proxy ballots may be necessary to ensure a quorum is met. Typically a proxy is used when a member cannot attend a meeting. The proxy holder must appear at the meeting to cast a ballot on behalf of the proxy giver.
There are two types of proxies:
A general proxy allows the proxy holder to vote without restriction, allowing him to exercise his discretion.
A limited or directed proxy restricts the voting power of the proxy holder. The restriction may relate to voting at a specific event or on a specific issue or may direct how the proxy holder must vote,
AssociationVoting.com support both types of proxies. Want to move your proxies for your board election or annual meeting bylaw propositions online? Learn more
In 2012 with AssociationVoting’s support MAAR tripled the association’s voter turnout as compared to the previous 3 years! 2012 was the first year MAAR utilized online election service from AssociationVoting. AV provided email announcement service with turnout booster for the MAAR Board of Directors election. After each email blast MAAR voter turnout incurred a double-digit uptick compared to the period prior to the email blast! The results speak for themselves — The MAAR voter turnout increased 3 fold to 31% with AssociationVoting!
If you and your organization are serious about conducting your next election on-line, your planning discussions may turn to the security of your voting process. Your members should know that the organization’s voting member list will not be sold or shared. You can be confident in that.
To ensure that every election is secure, we at Association Voting:
Use industry-standard 128-Bit SSL encryption for all election access – both for you and your voters.
Use a number of external security scanning and auditing services to verify AssociationVoting.com services and software
Secure your voting manager area with a a unique username and password
Enforce one member/one vote by requiring voters to identify with a member number or other unique identifier and ensuring only one cast ballot per identifier
Ensure voting accuracy by enforcing limits on the number of candidate or write-in selections per position and provide a prompt error notification that requires repair before the ballot can be cast
Require voter validation of selections as a preview step before a ballot can be cast
Maintain a detailed audit trail of voter selections and ballots cast, available to your voting administrator as the voting results PDF and also enabling validation of challenged ballots or results
In addition the following security related items are important:
Optional certified election results include a signed copy of the voting results PDF, certification letter, and electronic storage of your voting results for 12 months
Optional enhanced email announcement service provides added voter verification and security by requiring voters to follow a voter-specific URL or enter a unique security code
All of this is done to make sure your organization has confidence in your election on Association Voting.
One item that you can request which will assist in supporting a member’s confidence in casting an online vote is the Voting Receipt. Your election committee can arrange for members to receive a Voting Receipt that will show their Name and the Date and Time that they cast their individual ballots. If there is a reason to collect these, i.e. students who vote get credit for completing an assignment, this can be printed. To set this option, select Ballot and Votes and click on YES for Voting Receipts. Any member who does not complete his/her ballot and cast it correctly will not see the Voting Receipt.
Does your organization need a mid-election update? Consider printing an Election SummaryPDF to see the resultst point in time. Go to Ballot and Votes and click on for Results. Scroll to the bottom of this page and you will see the optionRequest an election summary PDF. This will bring up a set of options that can each be checked or not checked. The checked items will become the elements of your Election Summary to date. Some of these items are important to really think about before you create a summary request i.e. consider the merit of making ballots anonymous in the report. Your Election Summary will come to your email account, and can be sent to more than one email address if each is separated by a comma from the other. If you have a large election and many members, please know that this PDF can contain hundreds of pages. To avoid confusion among the reports, each report is date and time stamped for your convenience on all pages.
Congratulations, you are now ready to start your election and monitor it to make sure it runs smoothly. Here are two items that you can see to double check that positive progress is being made. Your election management team can do the following by going to Ballot and Votes and selecting Overview:
Make sure that ballots are being cast by members. If you see little or no activity, you may want to communicate with your members and remind them to vote. To get a list of nonvoters from the Association Voting website go to Nonvoters and you should be able to download a list of your membership who have not yet voted. You may have different options in your organization for communication, but you can just email the list again to remind them to vote.
Note: Association Voting does have an add-on service called “Turnout Booster” that may also be helpful for encouraging members to vote.
Make sure that all ballots that members have started are actually completed and submitted. If you want to make sure that no one has started their ballot but NOT remembered to complete it, you can select Uncast Ballots. If there is someone voting and the ballot is started but not completed, you will see that member’s name and the time and day that the ballot was started. If the length of time seems long, i.e. more than a few hours, you can use the email listed to contact that person and remind them to complete the ballot and be sure to click OK at the dialog box that will appear at the end of the process of casting a ballot.
Watch for more tips for Monitoring the Election in Progress Post submitted by Johanna
Association Voting has a list of Standard Features to review from the website AssociationVoting.com. These Standard Features include:
Support any number of voters per election. Standard pricing is based on 5,000 member base maximum.
Manage your member database—Members sign in to vote by Member ID or email address.
Easy ballot set-up within 1 hour!
Manage member groups and create group-specific ballot items.
Optional scoring weights for groups. (e.g. Group 1 votes count as 0.5, Group 2 votes count as 2.0 and Group 3 votes have the default weight of 1. towards a weighted sum.)
Inline candidate photos. Add a photo that appears right next to the candidate’s name. (We suggest 150 pixels by 180 pixels.)
Add biographies and candidate photos. Ballot positions include candidates, candidate biographies, as well as a maximum vote count (e.g. Vote for no more than three of the following: )
Optional per-position candidate write-ins.
No limit to the number of offices/candidates on a ballot.
Ballot issues include a detailed description of the proposition.
Personalized ballots based on district, region, or sub-group membership with no per-ballot fee.
Ballot preview. Preview the ballot items in the manager area as you edit the ballot and see the ballot items exactly how your voters will see them.
Detailed auditing, including a downloadable voting record PDF.
Complete edit capabilities. Create a welcome message and any special instructions to your voting community.
Secure voting using industry-standard 128-bit SSL encryption.
URL link to your personalized ballot including your logo.
Easy to use “Clear All Votes” functionality.
Real-time vote tallies available.
When using non-default group weights, the real-time results show weighted results and vote
All of these great features are included in the cost of running your election.
Do you have an election requirement that is not included in this list? If not and if you have set up your ballot and entered your membership, you are ready to begin the election. If yes, click on Contact Us on AssociationVoting.com and enter your request in the email form and a sales engineer can discuss your requirement with you so you can make an informed decision about making a potential modification or addition to this list.
Congratulations, you are now ready to check your ballot, information and directions to make sure you are ready to start your election. At this time, please check the following items to make sure you election will go smoothly. If you find a problem with any of the following items, be sure to resolve them before you open your election.
Check Membership List
Do you have all members of your organization who are qualified to vote in your election on your list that is entered into the system?
Do all of the members have a unique ID number?
Do you have email addresses for all members or a way to let members know when the election begins and where it is located? If you have email addresses for all members, then AssociationVoting will send out notifications to your members. You can select that service.
Do the members belong to specific groups? Are they correctly designated in the system?
Do members in groups vote for different positions or propositions and/or are their votes weighted differently? Is this correctly designated in the ballot? Are the weights correctly entered into the system?
Check Ballots and Propositions
Do you have all candidates for each position correctly entered on your ballot?
Did you indicate the number of candidates can be voted for in each position?
Do you have candidate information/biographies and photographs for all candidates? Are they correctly designated?
Did you double check the photographs to make sure they are the right size for your ballot?
Did the options for your propositions/proposals make sense? Can you see all the information?
Did you look at the ballot preview? Does it make sense and does it match the election your organization wants to conduct?
Do you need to run a trial ballot to make sure that the ballot makes sense? If yes, run a test ballot and then be sure to delete any “trial votes” before you open the election.
Check Timing of the Election
Do you have the correct starting and ending times for your election?
Does the timing allow for your members to get the information about the election and to complete their ballots in a timely manner? Do you need to make any adjustments?