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How voting works for a Hybrid Meeting

What Is Hybrid Voting 

Hybrid voting is a method of casting ballots that offers a combination of traditional in-person voting and digital online voting. With this system, voters have the flexibility to pick their preferred voting option, whether it be in-person or electronically. This allows for a more inclusive and accommodating way to vote. 

Hybrid voting is particularly useful in situations where community participation is low, or you are voting on important matters. In such cases, every vote counts and you want to make it easy for all members of your community to cast their vote. If you hold a hybrid meeting, hybrid voting system provides accurate vote tallies, ensuring that all voices are heard.  

How Does Hybrid Voting Work 

Conducting voting during a hybrid meeting can be a very simple process. Most individuals wonder how double voting and double registration are eliminated in a scenario where owners can participate virtually or in-person. CondoVoter – an electronic voting platform for condos, strata and HOAs – has created a system to ensure that owners can experience all the benefits of a hybrid meeting without the hassle of manually consolidating votes and registration. 

Typically, owners would receive the “notice of meeting” package sent electronically (or by mail if needed) and can vote from the time the package is distributed. An owner then has the choice to either utilize their electronic ballot before or during the meeting, or potentially vote in-person. Owners can also register through our system to attend the meeting virtually or opt out of this as well and attend in the physical room. 

At the time of the meeting, any owners that are present in-person will register with the property management team. Paper ballots would be distributed at this time, and any owner that is given a ballot would need to be marked down as voting by paper. Once registration is complete, that information is passed over to CondoVoter to consolidate with our system. 

Essentially, any owner who is present at the meeting would be marked off as “in attendance” in CondoVoter system. Then, if the owner was provided a paper ballot, their electronic vote would be nullified, which eliminates double voting. This also means that if an owner had previously voted electronically but is now opting to vote by paper at the meeting, they have the option to do so. 

Any proxies that are handed in at the in-person meeting can also be entered into our system in real-time. If the proxy holder is voting on behalf of their units by paper ballot, CondoVoter would nullify any proxy units and the proxy holder’s e-vote. 

At the time of the vote, electronic voting would run the same as usual. During the voting period, owners can either cast or change their vote before the vote is officially closed. On the in-person side, owners can either vote by paper or electronically. For any paper votes, two scrutineers would be chosen to tally up the results, and then provide this information to CondoVoter.  

This process may seem complex initially, but we have carefully curated solutions that help eliminate the stress that arises with hybrid meetings. When a CondoVoter hybrid Technician is hired through CondoVoter, they assist heavily in ensuring that voting and registration is a smooth and seamless process. 

The two major items to note for a successful hybrid meeting with hybrid voting is that careful care should be taken to ensure that any owners attending in-person are registered (or at the very least, noted down), and that any owners provided with a paper ballot must be identified. 

Things To Keep In Mind When Implementing Hybrid Voting 

When considering implementing hybrid voting and meeting, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Firstly, it is crucial to have a reliable online voting system in place. Research various vendors and select one with a positive reputation and proven track record. 

Secondly, it’s important to educate members about the new system, how to use it, and their options. This can be done by sending out informative emails or conducting training sessions.  

Lastly, consider opting for a full-service provider like CondoVoter that will take care of organizing your hybrid meeting and voting from start to finish, including sending out meeting notices, conducting training sessions, and a full electronic voting setup with on-site tech support options. 

Ways to Increase Engagement and Participation from Condo Owners during AGMs

Annual General Meetings (AGMs) are an essential part of community decision-making for condominiums. They provide an opportunity for homeowners to come together, discuss important issues, and make important decisions about the management and operation of their building. However, it can be challenging to get homeowners to attend and participate in AGMs, especially in today’s busy world where people have many competing commitments. 

 

Here are some ways to increase engagement and participation from homeowners during AGMs 

 

1. Make it convenient

Holding AGMs at a time and place that is convenient for the majority of unit owners will increase attendance and participation.  Consider holding the annual meeting in the evening or on the weekend to make it more accessible for working people. 

2. Communicate effectively

Keep condo owners informed about the AGM well in advance and provide clear, detailed information about the agenda, location, and time. Use multiple channels of communication, such as email, SMS, or even social media, to reach as many people as possible. One of the condo management companies in Vancouver used social media to promote their AGM and encourage participation. They created a Facebook event page for the AGM and invited all the condo owners to attend. They also used the page to post updates and answer questions about the AGM. This helped to increase participation and engagement from condo owners. 

3. Make it interactive

AGMs can be long and boring if they are just a series of speeches and presentations. Make the meeting more interactive by encouraging questions and discussions.  

4. Use an electronic voting platform

One of the most effective ways to increase engagement and participation from homeowners during AGMs is by using an electronic voting platform. It allows condo owners to vote on important issues and decisions from the comfort of their own home. E-voting eliminates the need for paper ballots, making the process more efficient and secure. Consider choosing an e-voting platform with an option to create candidate profiles. This will allow to launch voting on elections in advance and achieve quorum weeks before their meeting date.  

5. Try to conduct a virtual or hybrid annual meeting

Full-service providers like CondoVoter offer a complete package of services for conducting online elections and virtual meetings for Condos and HOAs. This includes setting up the voting system, sending out meeting notices and reminders, providing training sessions for panelists, meeting moderation and consolidating and providing accurate vote tallies. This eliminates the need for the organization to handle these tasks on their own, saving them time and effort. 

6. Provide incentives

Consider providing incentives for condo owners who attend the AGM. This could be something as simple as a door prize or a complimentary refreshment. 

Annual meetings are an important part of community decision-making for condominiums. It’s worth noting that what works for one community might not work for another. It’s important to understand the needs of your community and tailor your approach accordingly.  

For condos/associations that struggle to get quorum, electronic voting can be a solution. Property managers discovered that when people are given the option to vote online, they are more likely to do so. Electronic voting makes people feel included, engaged, and heard. This will lead to better decision-making and a flourishing community. 

Hybrid Condo/HOA Meeting: How to Make This Meeting Variant Work

Condos and HOA are now trying to implement a hybrid meeting format, and you’re probably asking yourself: “Should I give it a shot? Hybrid meetings offer the best of both worlds, by combining virtual and in-person participation. This allows attendees the option to choose how they want to participate in the meeting, whether it be in person or virtually. One of the many benefits of this format is that it tends to increase voter turnout and provides flexibility for those who may still be cautious about in-person interactions or simply cannot attend in person. 

 

5 Tips to Make Hybrid Meetings Work in Your Community 

First, think about the equipment. Specialized tech is required to sync the in-person and virtual room. A device called the “meeting owl” has been designed specifically for hybrid meetings. This device comes equipped with a 360-degree camera and microphone that can be placed at the front of the room to capture and project the in-person meeting to the virtual attendees and project sound from the virtual side to the in person. A projector is also required to display the virtual attendance to those in-person, and of course, a laptop is needed to connect to the Zoom meeting. Along with all these items, a stable Wi-Fi connection is strongly recommended to keep the meeting running seamlessly, and wire connections for all devices (including a power source) are required as well. Some equipment is optional, including a microphone for the physical room to project sound throughout and paper ballots if desired.

Second, ensure that the physical room has little to no echo. This can interfere with the audio quality for the virtual attendees. If a projector is being used to display the Zoom room in-person, then a projection screen would be suggested as well, and dim lighting in that area of the room. A projector is an additional item that can help create the most effective hybrid experience, however, successful hybrids can easily be run without one. 

Third, consider taking a survey from your ownership to determine if there is interest in hosting a hybrid meeting. This can also help gauge the size of the location needed for the physical room.  

Close attention should also be paid to the fair treatment of all owners present, virtual or in person. Ensure that adequate time is given to both forums to participate throughout the meeting, whether it be for motions, question and answer periods, or any other business that is to be conducted. If there is a CondoVoter on-site Technician present, this individual would pay close attention to both floors to ensure that all questions and comments are addressed in a timely and fair manner.  

Keep This Tip in Mind When Implementing Hybrid Meeting 

Hybrid meetings are not only a simple alternative to fully in person meetings, but also offer the added convenience of advance e-voting. Electronic voting allows members to participate in the voting process well before the actual meeting, reducing the time needed during the live in-person meeting and increasing the chances of achieving quorum in advance. 

Hybrids can be as simple as a virtual meeting and nowhere similar to the hassle of hosting a fully in-person meeting.

While hybrid meetings may present their own challenges, opting for a full-service provider like CondoVoter can simplify the process by taking care of the hybrid meeting and voting from start to finish. 

How to Choose an Electronic Voting Provider

Many Condominiums and Homeowner Associations are looking to implement online voting systems when voting on elections or other important matters. Property managers discovered that implementing electronic voting can serve as a solution for condos/associations that struggle to get quorum. Members cast their votes electronically by using a website or mobile application to vote in elections and other important matters.

 

Benefits of Using Electronic Voting

One of the main benefits of using electronic voting is that it increases voter participation. As often, when people are given the option to vote online, they are more likely to do so. This is especially true for younger voters who are used to conducting a good portion of their lives through digital mediums.  

Members are able to vote at their own convenience, whether it be from the comfort of their own home or on the go. This eliminates the need for members to travel to a physical location to vote, making it more likely for them to participate. Additionally, electronic voting allows for advance voting. Members can vote before the meeting time, which helps with achieving quorum.  

Another advantage of electronic voting is that it provides a secure and transparent way to vote. Electronic voting providers use strict security measures to protect against hacking, data breaches, and unauthorized access to voting data. For example, CondoVoter online voting system uses 256-bit encryption to secure your elections. This is the same level of security offered by major banks. The voting process is also transparent, and it provides accurate vote tallies and live quorum counts. This ensures that the voting process is fair and accurate.  

 

Choosing an Electronic Voting Provider For Condo and HOA

With so many electronic voting providers to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which one is the best fit for your community. Let’s explore the key factors to consider when selecting an electronic voting provider for your Condo or HOA. 

Security and Compliance:

Security is of the utmost importance when it comes to electronic voting. The provider you choose should have strict security measures to maintain the integrity of elections and privacy requirements such as the inability to view election results in advance, only until after the voting period has ended should election results be visible. Make sure that the provider is compliant with provincial laws regarding electronic voting.  

Intuitive & Friendly interface:

Most e-voting platforms are simple and easy for all members to use, regardless of their technical expertise. The provider should support those who need assistance and ensure that the voting process is accessible to all members. 

Easily customizable:

Every community is unique. Therefore, the electronic voting system should be customizable to fit the specific needs of your community. Look for a provider that can tailor the system to your community’s bylaws and regulations. 

Technical Support:

A good electronic voting provider should offer comprehensive technical support to ensure that any issues are resolved quickly and efficiently. This includes assistance with setup, troubleshooting, and quorum itself. 

Cost:

The cost of the electronic voting system is an important factor to consider. Compare the pricing and features of different providers to find one that fits within your budget and provides the necessary features and support for your Condo or HOA. 

 

A Full-service Provider or a Self-served Platform: What to Choose 

A full-service electronic voting provider offers a complete package of services for conducting online elections for Condos and HOAs. This includes setting up the voting system, sending out meeting notices and reminders, providing training sessions for panelists, and consolidating and providing accurate vote tallies. This eliminates the need for the organization to handle these tasks on their own, saving them time and effort.  

A self-served electronic voting platform, on the other hand, allows organizations to conduct online elections on their own. It’s the most cost-effective way to conduct electronic voting. The main challenge with self-served software is that property managers will have to rely on their own technical expertise or hire a separate technical service provider for any technical support.  

One of the main benefits of using a full-service provider is that they have the expertise and experience to handle the technical aspects of the voting process. This includes ensuring that the voting system is secure and compliant. It also includes providing technical support and assistance with troubleshooting any issues that may arise. 

Another benefit of using a full-service provider is that they help you get quorum, engage unit owners and ensure that members of the community understand how to vote, which is crucial for the success of the process. With a full-service provider, members will receive clear instructions and support to ensure that they can vote in a hassle-free manner.  

So it’s a good idea to use an electronic voting platform for Condos and HOAs that offers an expert setup and assistance so that the voting process is organized and seamless from start to finish.  

 

Find out What Additional Benefits the Vendor Provides 

In addition to the support, security, and customization, electronic voting providers can also offer additional benefits to Condos and HOAs. 

One such benefit is a referral program. Some electronic voting providers have a referral program in place that rewards current customers for referring new customers. This can be a great way for organizations to save money on their voting services while also helping to spread the word about the provider they trust. 

Check if a provider offers a price match guarantee. For example, CondoVoter not only matches the price of any provider that offers comparable service for a lower price but offers an additional 5 % discount. This can be a great way for organizations to ensure that they are getting the best deal possible. 

A quorum guarantee is another benefit that electronic voting providers could offer. It gives confidence that quorum will be reached during the voting process. At CondoVoter, if quorum is not met, we re-host the virtual meeting and e-voting at no extra charge until the client gets quorum. This can give organizations peace of mind knowing that the investment in an online voting system will not go wasted. 

These are just a few examples of additional services that Condos and HOAs can benefit from. If you are thinking about switching to electronic voting, considering these additional benefits can help to make an informed decision when choosing a provider. 

Electronic voting can increase convenience and participation for members, leading to more effective decision-making for the community. At CondoVoter, we have done thousands of meetings and e-voting for condos and HOAs. Check out our 5-star reviews on Capterra 

Extension of Expiry Date of Temporary Virtual Meeting Provisions to September 30, 2023

The Government of Ontario made regulatory amendments under the Condominium Act, 1998 (Condo Act), which extend the effective period of temporary legislative provisions permitting condominium corporations to call and hold meetings virtually without the need for a by-law. The effective period of these temporary legislative provisions has now been extended to September 30, 2023. 

“The ministry continues to explore potential comprehensive permanent changes under the Act that better reflect the digital age and allow for broader participation.”

Does the extension apply to sending notices by email without agreements/consent from owners? 

Notices sent by email also get this extension. If you have the owners’ email addresses, you can continue to send notices by email to the owners. If you do not have an email address, you will still be required to send that owner a hard copy of the notice by mail. 

What if you already started the process of getting a by-law in place 

You can either push forward and continue with getting the bylaw in place that permits electronic voting and virtual meetings, or you can put it on hold and wait to see if permanent changes will be made. 

CondoVoter is hosting complimentary by-law meetings entirely administered and moderated to help you get the bylaw in place that permits electronic voting and virtual meetings. 

In addition, we are offering a separate complimentary email campaign to collect consent/agreements from owners to send electronic notices.   

If you are interested in booking your complimentary by-law meeting, contact our booking team at info@condovoter.com.