One of the biggest misconceptions that people have about online voting, and voting in general, is that big decisions need to be made all at once. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
A vote does not necessarily have to take place during a specific timeframe or even be tied to a particular event. Digital voting gives both voters and administrators the freedom to hold a vote how and when they want it, whether it is over several hours, days, or even weeks.
Before deciding on how much time you should give voters to consider their options, your organization should have answers to these three questions:
How accessible are ballots to the voting base?
Increasing the window that voters have to take action gives any in-person voters and voters working remotely more opportunities to participate. Instead of having to deal with time zone changes and schedule workarounds, voters can simply ensure they vote within the extended allocated period of time.
Depending on the makeup of your voter base, different timeframes may prove themselves to be more appropriate.
If you’re receiving ballots from all over the world, it may be more prudent to give voters several days or a week to access the voting platform and cast their vote. However, a smaller group working within the same space may need just a few hours or one day to make a decision.
How much information will voters need to consider?
Everyone knows that one of the worst habits that students in school get into is cramming all of the knowledge they need for a test into just a short amount of time instead of practicing and learning new concepts over time.
The same applies to voting when there are several complex issues at stake and voters need to understand each thoroughly to form their own opinion.
A longer voting window increases the odds of voters being more informed when they make their decision and gives them more opportunities to conduct research into policy initiatives or evaluate candidates without having to rush. Better decisions in the voting booth ultimately become better results for your organization.
How important is this decision?
This last question brings both of the former questions into account. Obviously, a decision that will affect an organization for several years into its future will require more time and input than simply deciding what’s for lunch.
Oftentimes, voters will face candidates or issues where there is no immediately clear “best option,” though the result of that decision will be significant and perhaps change the face of the organization.
For example, though U.S. presidential elections happen for all citizens on one day in November, a series of primary elections start in February to pare down the field to the most preferred candidates. A year or more of watching candidates campaign give citizens ample opportunity to see the differences between party platforms and make a choice of which is right for them.
No Need to Rush
Depending on what’s at stake for the people involved, all decisions require some time for thought. Even everyday decisions we take for granted like what to eat and what to say require a weighing of options, even if they are done subconsciously.
However, when it comes to critical decisions for your organization and stakeholders, it doesn’t hurt to hit pause and slow the process down to come to the best result.
Looking for specific suggestions regarding the timing of your vote? Talk to one of our consultants here for more.