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E-Voting Comes to the AAFD: FINALLY!

Posted on Date: Jun 9, 2020

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The entire AAFD team, and especially our chapter coordinators, are excited and thrilled to announce that we have finally found, tested and adopted an electronic voting platform that can support the AAFD’s dedication to effective democracy! 

Effective immediately, the AAFD is able to offer online voting from any device with Internet or SMS access for conducting our chapter elections through ElectionBuddy the premier platform for on-site or remote election management. 

For years, our members have asked why the AAFD has continued to employ paper ballots and manual voting. Contrary to some opinions, we have not been averse to e-voting, we just couldn’t find a program that would satisfy the AAFD’s standards for a fair voting process that protects the democracy of our chapter governance requirements. Until we discovered Election Buddy, none of the e-voting systems we tried and tested could accommodate an important fairness tools of weighted and “Cumulative Voting.” 

Cumulative voting is a vitally important tool, long the standard in the securities industry, to protect minority interests to be able to have an effective voice on your association’s board of directors. The typical board of directors are all elected on an at large basis – perhaps 9 to 15 board members all voted on by all the members. If there is a dominate block of members representing a majority votes, that majority can literally lock-up all of the board positions and minority interests will have no board representation. There is a prominent franchise system with a huge concentration of owners in the Northeast part of the United States. The Northeast franchisees elected all the board members, causing franchisees in other parts of the country to resign their membership. 

Cumulative voting, and a related tool called weighted voting where multi-unit owners may have additional allocated votes, allows a member to aggregate a total number of votes and allocate them to favorite candidates. Typically, a member will have one vote for each open board position times the number of franchises he or she owns. For example, if the member owns three franchise locations and there are nine open board positions, the member will have 27 total votes. Those votes can be distributed to one candidate or favorite candidates to enhance the favored candidates’ electability. Most AAFD chapters have somewhat complicated formulas to determine the voting rights and limits of their members. 

The problem is that most e-voting systems do not support weighted voting or cumulative voting, and the AAFD has been dedicated to the advantages of these important fairness tools. 

We were pleased to discover that ElectionBuddy not only supports fair and balanced elections, but their platform is incredibly user and voter friendly.  AAFD Members will find voting to be easy, fast and efficient. Members can vote online or by smart phone and from virtually any device. 

Your chapter coordinators will love the service as well. Conducting elections is our most time consuming of support tasks, and now elections will be efficient and easier to launch. Our thanks to AAFD Member Coordinator, Jennifer Foreman, for finding this important new service and bringing it to our attention. 

Let the new age of e-voting AAFD elections begin! 

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