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Better Voting in Public Meetings: Use an Audience Response System





Large audience voting in public meetings can be long, arduous, and cumbersome. There are many different methods of voting and each presents unique challenges. The four most significant issues they all share are time constraints, privacy concerns, voting security problems, and count inaccuracies. 


The solution to all these issues is simple: Electronic Voting with an Audience Response System!!


Electronic Voting is Fast... Traditional voting procedures require extensive time dedicated to the tallying and logging of votes. This not only increases the chance for error but also reduces the amount of time available to be spent on the actual topic being discussed. 


Audience response systems, however, gather data from the audience every few seconds. An entire group of participants typically responds in about 20 seconds and results are tabulated immediately. There is no time wasted counting votes or tabulating results. After the meeting is over, electronic voting systems allow for an instant report of results that can be easily viewed and published immediately.  


Electronic Voting is Private... There is no need for standing, speaking, or raising hands. Electronic voting maintains privacy and prevents anxiety and fear of reprisal when votes are disclosed. 


Since electronic votes can be kept private, it also creates higher validity by ensuring that responses are more genuine and align with the true preferences of the voters in attendance as well as creating higher response and attendance rates.


Electronic Voting is Secure... Each vote is transmitted via encrypted wireless transmission and confirmed personally to each voter. Radio signals are encrypted using special proprietary radio chips and algorithms. Every transmission uses frequency hopping spread spectrum protocols that make the system very hard to hack.


Electronic Voting is Accurate...Electronic voting requires everyone in attendance to use voting keypads or a browser equipped device. These keypads each transmit a unique encrypted ID number associated with only one person. Each voter receives a confirming message.  


Because these keypads will only count the last vote entered, they eliminate the chance of a person's vote being counted more than once. An electronic voting system can also reduce the potential for unauthorized votes that can occur in a standing vote count as well as eliminate the uncertainty of a voice or hand vote that is not decipherable. 


In addition, ARS electronic voting systems are very easy to use. When the Moderator announces that voting is open, each voter simply presses the button on his or her interactive keypad that correlates with their decision. The keypad then transmits the response to a central computer receiver. The handset will then display a confirmation to let the user know that their vote was received.  


Several hardware and software solutions for electronic voting are available for rent or purchase. ARS systems for electronic voting can scale from 10 people to as many as 15,000 voters in a single venue.  


You can learn more about the different configurations for public meetings by clicking the button below.


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Daniel Bohannon
Posted by Daniel Bohannon

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