Online Voting | Security | Voting | Business | Essential

Digital Voting vs. Paper and In-person Voting: What Your Organization Needs to Know

Onboarding your organization to an online voting system may take some time, but its benefits far outweigh more traditional voting methods.
Sarah Diamond
Written by Sarah Diamond

It seems that everything is done online these days. You can pay your server’s tip, send money to friends instantly, and even set your thermostat from a different city – all from an app. So why do some organizations still use paper to conduct important votes? Furthermore, why do they make their voters travel to a specific location to participate?

If you’re an organization that still relies on paper or in-person voting, perhaps you have some pretty convincing reasons as to why. After all, there are sound benefits to using paper such as accessibility, ease of use, and of course, a paper trail. When it comes to getting your voters to the polling machines, you could argue that you’re encouraging voting in a controlled environment and minimizing any fraudulent activities that could occur behind the scenes.

While these are solid reasons to continue using your existing voting methods, all of these benefits can also be achieved by using an online voting platform. Not to mention, there are numerous ways a digital voting platform can help your organization in ways that traditional and outdated voting methods cannot. Here’s why your voting process needs to go online:

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1. Your voters can vote from anywhere.

One of the main reasons modern organizations switch to online voting is that they can give their voters the convenience of voting from anywhere, on any device. Since they are given a username and password to access their ballot, all they need is a secure network on which to cast their vote.


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2. It makes a complex election easy.

Another good reason to move away from in-person voting is if your organization requires a complex voting setup. Some votes or elections require weighted voting or give their voters an ability to rank their choices to a certain question. These situations are made easy when assisted by a platform that is created to handle those specific actions.


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3. An accessible platform leads to higher turnout.

Paper ballots get misplaced and damaged. Polling places can be hard to find, and traffic or other delays can affect turnout. When you move your voting system online, you are eliminating these challenges by making your vote more accessible. While a small learning curve may be necessary to get used to the nuances of navigating a new technology, it’s worth it for the number of people that will be able to easily participate and make their voices heard.


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4. Lower long-term costs.

Reserving a space for your voting event can be expensive, not to mention the printing costs associated with hundreds or thousands of paper ballots. Depending on how large your organization is, a centralized voting system can have a positive impact your bottom line. Using an online platform typically requires either a monthly payment or an annual license, depending on your voting needs. Since tabulation is done electronically, and instantly, you won’t spend unnecessary dollars and time manually counting ballots. Not to mention, you won’t need to pay for staff to help specifically with your voting initiatives.


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5. Full transparency.

A good online voting system will have a process that you can see and trust. You should be able to know just how they are tabulating your votes and how secure their process and data storage is. Unlike paper ballots, a reliable online voting platform won’t leave your votes vulnerable to fraud and tampering. Most closed voting systems require user authentication, so you can rest assured that only eligible voters are participating in their respective ballots.

Switching to a new process doesn’t come without its challenges. Onboarding your organization to an online voting system may take some time, but it’s benefits far outweigh those of traditional paper voting and complicated in-person events.

To get a better idea of how we can make your voting process easier and more secure, take a look at our How it Works page.

Originally published May 14, 2019, updated May 14, 2019

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