Bringing Electronic Voting to Condominium Corporations in Ontario
CondoVoter brings best-in-class electronic voting to the Canadian condominium market combined with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of Ontario’s condominium laws. CondoVoter is a partnership between Vote HOA Now, the leading electronic voting platform for community associations in the United States and Denise Lash, one of Ontario’s preeminent condominium lawyers.
“Wow! What success! 300 units in this downtown Toronto condo achieved a 48 percent participation rate prior to the meeting. Easily exceeding the 25 percent quorum requirement. No proxies (electronic or paper) were sent or received.”
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FORWARD THINKERS OF THE MONTH:
“City Sites Property Management Inc. recently had one of our new corporations undertake to utilize CondoVoter for their Turnover meeting. I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with the overall process from the regular updates to the presentation of the final tallies on the night of the meeting. The program was extremely user friendly and well received evidenced by the close to 90% participation exhibited by the owners. Well done!”Harold CipinPresident and COO, City Sites Property Management
“I was chair at a turnover meeting that recently used electronic voting. I am not sure why anyone would oppose it’s use. It just makes eminent sense to me. When we did the vote I was handed a sheet of paper, it had all the electronic votes on it so that when I called for the scrutineers, their task of adding up and counting the votes was minimal. It took approximately 10 minutes. It was just absolutely great!”Richard HoffmanCondominium Lawyer, DelZotto, Zorzi LLP
COUNTING VOTES SO VOTING COUNTS
The platform is easy for owners to use; CondoVoter provides effective and painless step by step and support for admin/manager; quorum is met in no time – previously we would have to chase owners for proxies to get the required meeting quorum (and on a number of occasions, meeting start time had to be delayed to allow us to contact owners directly in order to reach the quorum) – achieving a quorum is not a problem anymore with CondoVoter.Valerie SmithCondominium Manager, Del Property Management
The passage of the Electronic Voting By-Law was instrumental in allowing us to use CondoVoter to pass three subsequent By-Laws which easily attained quorum and equally resounding approval. For our recent AGM, we actually had the highest number of votes recorded for the election of Directors in the 20 year history of our extremely engaged Condominium. In addition, many of those who voted on-line also came to the Annual General Meeting itself so we have not lost the sense of community that many predicted.Diana Belshaw, President, Board of DirectorsParliament Square MTCC 1299
Our experience was positive. Yes, we made quorum, and online voting was very helpful for us. Saved us so much time and energy for getting quorum. The fact that 93 owners used it shows that they found it easy to use. In the past AGMs we had around 52-55 owners present or by proxy.Ben Nati, Condominium ManagerTSCC2220
Quorum was easily made as we had 216 votes (41.14%) via electronic voting and we only need 25%.88 Scott – TSCC 2665
This is awesome! 52.5% of the units voted electronically prior to the meeting!The Icon2 – TSCC 1549
We used CondoVoter for an amendment to declaration which is a consent process and not technically a vote. This means that no bylaw is needed to do amendments to declarations. It was a wonderful test to see how it all works. We are definitely proceeding with an electronic voting bylaw at our next meeting so that we can use this process for all our owners meetings.Aura – TSCC 2329
Our Corporation used CondoVoter for the Turnover Meeting. The experience we went thorough was great. Quorum was easily made as we had 288 votes out of 388 total of Units. The staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. It saved us a lot of time and energy for the registration and for getting the quorum.Catalina P.TSCC 2678
CondoVoter has been well received in our building. Owners could cast their vote even if they were out of town. We made quorum easily and with time to spare, and we expect it to be even easier in future as the initial effort of collecting emails and consents has been done. All updates were promptly acknowledged and implemented, and results were carefully monitored by CondoVoter staff. As our AGM's are typically held during the heavy shopping season before Christmas, it has always been challenging to collect proxies; the process can be tedious, intrusive and subject to manipulation and abuse. We intend to continue with CondoVoter, and strongly endorse its use.Zahir AntiaSecretary MTCC 971
This is where weighting becomes very beneficial. If an owner has more than one unit, that owner would have a “weight” of the number of units owned. That owner would only need to vote one time and it would count for all the votes the owner has.
No, only one vote per unit. Only one email is loaded into the system, so you will have to decide which to use.
Each owner receives an email with an encrypted link to the vote which can only be used one time.
No, once the e-vote is cast it is final and the system will show that there is nothing for them to vote on.
Yes, the email messages we send go to only those that have not already voted. Once an owner has voted, they will not receive additional emails.
We can email the owners as often as you need. Typically, it is set to two times a week in the beginning and then three or more times per week toward the end of the vote if it is needed to make quorum. The vote manager monitors the results for quorum and queues additional emails accordingly.
The system cannot send emails to individual owners; however, the invitation to vote emails do get sent regularly so the owner will receive it again.
The final results will be sent to the person designated as the Single Point of Contact (usually the manager or their assistant) unless otherwise designated, such as the Auditor or Legal Counsel for the condominium corporation. The Single Point of Contact is the only person to receive the results to take to the meeting. If a ballot is secret the difference in the results is that the report showing how each owner voted is not available, not even to the vote manager.
With our annual service, the results are in the system for as long as you are a client with the minimum of 90 days from the date the meeting (or a later date if the meeting is adjourned).
When the vote is complete you will receive a summary report showing the total number of votes received, the percentage of the total possible, and the tally of votes for each candidate or item. You will also receive spreadsheets with a list of who voted and a list of who didn’t vote. If the vote is for any other items other than the Election of Directors will also receive a spreadsheet with the details of the total responses. NOTE: Final results will be sent during business hours (Mon-Fri 8AM to 5PM PST/ 11:00AM to 8:00PM EST) following the close of the vote.
Each owner receives an encrypted link to the survey which can only be used one time, so the results cannot be skewed by someone answering the survey more than one time.
All of our voting sites use SSL encryption which encrypts the link between a voter’s computer and our server, this ensures that a ballot cannot be tampered with. Our servers are scanned regularly to ensure security. Also, you will receive a confirmation email with your vote responses for your records.
The initial agreement includes the custom voting site, annual software license fee, and full-service management of one vote or survey. Each additional vote or survey within the same year incurs only the fee for the management of the vote or survey. Costs depend on the number of units so please ask for an estimate for your condominium corporation.
We will send you instructions on how the owner data needs to be prepared for upload, but we can provide data cleanup for a nominal fee.
Yes, the vote manager will send a screen capture of the ballot to Single Point of Contact for review and approval before it goes live.
Yes, a single PDF file can be included with the ballot. Additional PDFs can be added for $25 each.
The vote can open and close on any whole hour (1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, etc.) on any date. Automated invitation emails are sent automatically any day of the week at 12:00am (midnight) Pacific Standard Time or they can be sent manually during regular business hours (Monday – Friday 8am-5pm PST/11am-8pm EST). Typically voting commences once the Notice of Meeting is sent.
As this is not one of the specific notices that require owner consent it is not necessary to obtain consent before sending out the invitation to vote email.
What if a meeting is adjourned early to get clarification so with no vote - what happens to the ballots that owners had cast?
A vote can stay open (or be re-opened within a certain time-frame) if needed.
What if the by-laws are amended at the meeting? Can the owners vote for those amendments or would the ballot not count?
If there is the possibility of the need for a different vote at the meeting then you would need to account for this within the language of the ballot instructions. For example, if it is a bylaw vote, and the bylaw is amended at the meeting, if the ballot says “with or without amendments” then it will be counted. If the ballot doesn’t say anything about amendments, then it will be counted toward quorum only.