Reconcile online with the right tools

Which tools help with online voting in your association or social company?

In the field of digital teams, an important question quickly arises in everyday life, how can we hold votes and elections at our online conferences. After all, a digital team can only work successfully if it also has a right of co-determination. Legally, it's not a problem to hold elections digitally, but there are a few basic things to keep in mind. Why voting online is more democratic, what you need to consider from a legal point of view, and what tools can help them with their online choice, see this article.

Online voting is more democratic

Not only for purely digital teams, online choice is a good way to make decisions, but also in any other form of collaboration, one should take a close look at the possibility of online selection. This is because in an online election, participation is drastically increased, because even members who cannot appear physically for a vote have the possibility to vote via their computer or smartphone. Not only will their decisions become more democratic, but they will also greatly increase the acceptance of their decisions by their members.

Online elections are easier

The nice thing about online elections is that the voting results are directly available digitally and can be evaluated quickly. Usually the result is finished with one click and one more click and all participants are informed about the result. This means saying goodbye to the annoying counting of hundreds of ballot papers and also the control of possible formal errors is no longer necessary. After all, an online vote does not allow erroneous entries in the first place. Of course, an online choice can also be integrated without any problems at a presence event.

Legal validity of online elections

According to the law, real and virtual decisions are recognized on an equal footing in the Board of Directors. This means that both digital and offline meetings offer the same decision-making options. An important point, however, is that the possibility of holding digital meetings, as well as their ability to take legally binding decisions, must be explicitly allowed in the statutes or rules of procedure. Digital voting shall be subject to the same requirements and conditions as for normal voting, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the Statutes or Rules of Procedure.

A formulation example for an association statute would be:

1 The convocation shall be made in writing to the last address notified. If an email address of the member has been communicated, the invitation of this member can also be made to the last named e-mail address, unless the member has specified otherwise in writing to the association.

2 The duly convened assembly shall always have a quorum.

3 The general meeting can also take place digitally and is equally quorum. Digital signatures are allowed.

Tools to help you choose online

There is a wide range of free and paid tools that can help you choose online. Some tools are specially approved for conducting online elections and others can be used for this purpose.

When choosing the right tool, it is not only important to look at the price, but also to ask what functions do I need. Do you need a secret ballot function? Should the results be available live? Do I want an authentication method for the participants in my vote? What budget is available to me?

It is best to choose the tool with your board to increase acceptance of the new procedure.

Free tools for online voting

Here you will find a list of the 4 best free tools for your virtual decision-making, arranged according to our personal recommendation. Since data protection is particularly important, we have made an assessment of the data protection of the providers. Detailed information on the collection and use of personal data can also be found on the websites of the providers. In the assessment, attention was paid above all to common certifications of the providers for a more detailed information, we recommend the advice of a data protection officer.

LamaPoll

Headquarters: Germany

Price: free (up to 50 participants), 49€/month (up to 500 participants)

Our recommendation for institutions that want to get to know the topic first, but are already thinking about a possible paid option.

Functions:

  • Secret election possible
  • Multiple participation in the free version only guaranteed via cookies (but in the paid version in full)
  • Real-time evaluation
  • No individualized invitation in the free version possible

LamaPoll has made it its mission to adapt online surveys to the GDPR and helps you to design your surveys accordingly. It is a suitable tool for institutions that feel unsafe with the GDPR. The free version is good for small institutions with high trust among themselves. There is a possibility of multiple participation by deleting your cookies If you are not able to dial, you will quickly recognize if someone has accidentally entered twice. For small clubs, where you know each other and for non-secret elections an exciting tool. And if you are completely convinced, you can easily switch to the paid version.

Website: https://www.lamapoll.de/


Electionbuddy

Headquarters: Canada

Price: free up to 20 participants, up to 350 participants 19$/choice

Our recommendation for international teams looking for more features than just a simple choice. Candidate profiles or comment functions can also inform about the choices at the same time as the election.

Functions:

  • English-language control panel for the administrator only
  • Elections can be held in different languages
  • Candidate profiles can be created to introduce candidates
  • Possibility to allow comments (useful for budget meetings, for example)

ElectionBuddy is not GDPR certified and therefore does not guarantee its compliance with European regulations. However, their current provisions are consistent with the requirements of the GDPR and can be used accordingly. A change in data protection and the use of personal data by the Software should be reviewed regularly. Apart from data protection, it is a wonderful software with many ways to meet even special requirements of a choice.

Website: https://electionbuddy.com/


Surveymonkey

Headquarters: USA

Price: free, with extended features from 39€/month

Our recommendation for institutions that already work with Surveymonkey or that are planning surveys in addition to digital voting.

Functions:

  • Secret election possible
  • Invitation only possible by email (only in this way can it be ensured that each participant votes only once)
  • Reconciliation via app possible
  • In the free version only the first 40 voices are visible
  • Results in real time
  • No download of the results in the free version possible (are only visible in the program)

Surveymonkey is a well-known tool for online surveys and can easily be used for online whales. It is headquartered in the U.S. and is certified and used under data protection law without any problems. However, it is obliged to educate its participants about this. In order to comply with the Data Protection Regulation, the survey results can be deleted by the survey initiator. Surveymonkey is a good way for online elections even for larger clubs. Many clubs may already be working on it and do not have to buy a new online selection tool. However, it is not specifically designed for online voting and therefore lacks some options.

Website: https://de.surveymonkey.com/


PollUnit

Headquarters: Germany

Price: free (up to 40 participants), 6€/month (up to 200 participants) and more.

Our recommendation for institutions that want to support a young German company and are happy about the friendly and personal support.

Functions:

  • Prevent multiple participation only in a paid version
  • Secret choice in paid version possible
  • Participation possible without registration
  • Creation of votes possible even without your own account

PollUnit is a free polling provider, but the features in the free plan aren't enough for a digital vote. However, the paid plans are very cheap and already for 6€/month or even only 24€/year you have all the functions you need for a successful digital tuning. With its headquarters in Germany, you can make sure that the DSVGO is adhered to and a fast, personal support is also available. It is still a very young company and one can assume that some great features will be added in the future.

Website: https://pollunit.com/de/abstimmung


Paid tools for your online voting

Here you will find a list of the 4 best paid tools for your virtual decision-making. Since data protection is particularly important, we have made an assessment of the data protection of the providers. Detailed information on the collection and use of personal data can also be found on the websites of the providers. In the assessment, attention was paid above all to common certifications of the providers for a more detailed information, we recommend the advice of a data protection officer.

Polyas

Headquarters: Germany

Price: from 29€ per choice for 10 participant
s up to 593.49€/choice for 500 participantsn
o subscription options

Our recommendation for large organisations that want to conduct a purely digital election.

Functions:

  • Secret election
  • Authentication of voters
  • Online voting without registration
  • Output of whale results in pdf
  • Automatic sending of the whale invitation by email
  • Possibility of sending the access data by post
  • Personal advice
  • Possibility to book an election manager to conduct the election

POLYAS is a German company that is adapted to German legislation on data protection and legal choice. Due to the price, one should think carefully about whether one needs this high level of security. An ideal tool for elections and votes of important posts or amendments to the statutes, especially if the issue is critical and has led to disagreements. In our opinion, a simpler tool is sufficient for small clubs or for uncritical votes. POLYAS is the best provider for large organizations that have an important choice to choose from.

Website: https://www.polyas.de/


Quizzbox

Headquarters: France

Price: requested

Our recommendation for institutions of all sizes who regularly want to hold legally secure elections, both online and in face-to-face events.

Functions:

  • Secret election
  • Authentication of participants
  • Results in real time
  • Final report in Excel or PDF
  • Different weighting of voices possible
  • Vote on app
  • Personal advice

Quizzbox specializes in the digitization of elections in digital and presence events. They offer a perfect service for institutions that want to hold elections both online and offline. This can even happen at the same time and provides a good connection for your digital and offline team. The user interface is very easy to understand. Quizzbox is an exciting solution for clubs that do not work completely digitally and may have members in their team who struggle with technology. For people who don't have a smartphone, you also offer voting computers for rent.

Website: https://www.quizzbox.com/de/


VotingTech

Headquarters: Germany

Price: depending on effort

Our recommendation for institutions that have special requirements and want an offer tailored to your needs.

Functions:

  • Secret election
  • Integration in face-to-face events is also possible
  • Installation of local Wi-Fi and server possible
  • Detailed advice and individual solutions
  • Experience with fewer IT-savvy participants

VotingTech is a provider that is ideally suited for very large events. If necessary, you can even install your own Wi-Fi and a local server for digital choice on your event. A good provider for a great choice with a lot of effort and many participants, where nothing can actually go wrong. Especially if you are already expecting older participants, you can draw on the experience of the team.

Website: https://www.votingtech.de


WeVote

Headquarters: Spain

Price: requested

Our recommendation for institutions that need a particularly high level of legal certainty.

Functions:

  • Secret election
  • Invitation to choose by email or SMS
  • Retention of voting data for 5 years
  • Optionally bookable with notarial certification of the election results

WeVote is a product of the Spanish company FullCertificate, which offers different products of IT security. In addition to digital choices, they also offer certified emails, notarial certifications, etc. expresses proximity or touch from the side. An exciting provider if you want to combine different IT certifzes. You get everything right first hand.

Website: https://www.wevote.eu/de/


What is right for my company or my association?

There is now a range of digital election and voting providers. In their basic functions, most are quite similar. It is important that both the design is intuitive to understand and that there is a good balance between functions and expertise. Especially in elections with many participants, it is more difficult to organise a free election.

What votes do you already take digitally? And what other tools can you recommend? We look forward to seeing more tips from you in the comments!

Creating a digital team isn't difficult, and with a few tricks and tips, you can open your projects to digital employees soon. Sign up for our online course and we'll go the way together. It would be a great pleasure for us to be able to support you in this!


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