<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=939173646247387&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Voting Alternatives for City Council Meetings

If you find it difficult and time consuming getting through city council voting sessions or representative town meetings, then you might be putting all your time and energy into using standard or paper-based methods. You could be cutting your time in half and making the voting process more accurate with wireless interactive polling systems. The precise and efficient capabilities of audience response systems are becoming a huge asset to many cities and boards across the country.

Audience response systems consist of software and hardware in the form of a wireless keypad, or clicker, as well as tablets and smart phones. Before the meeting, it’s important to have access to all balloting information. It should be organized to rank the proper voting procedures and determine the best balloting order.  During the voting procedures a team can be very helpful to aid in monitoring the voting, displaying results on-screen, and compiling results. Having an experienced team at your disposal can be an important asset to making the meeting successful.

Everything that goes into executing a meeting including preparation, vote counting and execution time, is reduced significantly. Interactive voting technology gives representatives and clerks a better way to vote. Audience response systems harness the power of interactive electronic voting technology to make representative, council and board meetings quick and accurate. The most efficient way to move from paperless voting is to use an audience response system equipped with the following capabilities:


2. Flexible Balloting Formats: 

  • Flexible balloting- add or remove initiatives and motions for balloting as easily as you edit a PowerPoint slide. Easily create voting slides showing the title of each proposal or motion.  


  • Flexible display- show individual precincts, names, districts, along with voting status. If you so choose, you have the ability to display the vote cast (yes, no, or abstain) for each representative during or after voting.


  • The display can be configured to show who voted, vote totals, and whether the item was adopted or rejected. After a representative has voted, their voting device will communicate on their own personal screen, how they voted.



  • Weighted Council Voting- allows you to accurately calculate votes when representatives ballots carry more or less weight than others


City council voting meetings often need a highly accurate and flexible voting system. Audience response systems provide this. Balloting transpires rapidly with amendments, procedural motions, and new candidates added instantly, without any difficulties.  In some cases, proxies or weighted voting add additional complexity.  The comprehensive voting software harnessed by software providers as well as an experienced support team should handle these challenges flawlessly so you get reliable outcomes for your governance team.


 2. Quick and Accurate Vote Tabulation:

  • Recorded ballots- All data is conveniently stored in a relational SQL database and tracked by the identity of the voter.
  • Immediate results – even with thousands of votes, the tabulation is instant. They are available live during polling or immediately accessed after polling closes. Give voting representatives the ability to instantly cast their votes and tabulate results for the entire assembly in seconds.


  • Configurable pass/fail math- Can be altered for different vote indicators as the requirements to pass items can vary. The software should be customizable for these different instances.


Every town administrator needs to record board votes and city council votes with speed and accuracy. In most cases, constituents need a tool to track the votes cast by their elected representatives. Using audience response tools as a city council voting system helps legislative bodies accelerate their deliberations with electronic polling. Interactive voting tools gather, tabulate, and immediately display votes from individual representatives using handheld keypads or tablets.


3. Tracks Representative Voting:

  • Accurate vote tallies – participant voting devices are tracked by participant. Voters can change their mind within the given voting window, but only their last vote will be counted, avoiding “stuffing” the ballot box.


  • Rostered results- use a roster tracking feature to enter and manage the identities of voting representatives.


  • Results indicator- The optional pass/fail results indicator can be displayed automatically on screen or not at all. The audience response system software will immediately determine and present whether votes cast exceed the thresh hold for 50%, two-thirds or three-quarters majority. The voter display changes manually or on a time interval cycle to display results from an unlimited number of individual voting representatives.


Using voting tabulation, vote Pass/Fail results can be displayed on-screen based on weighted formulas or majority thresholds. An on-screen indicator can be configured to display result labels: Yes/No/Abstain. Colored indicators will match the preference or voting procedures.

For accurate voting, each voter receives a personal confirmation message on their voting device. They can see how they voted as well as be confident their vote was cast as intended. When a voter casts a ballot, a two-way personalized messaging system confirms their vote was registered. Almost immediately, the software tabulates the results.  The coveted security of an encrypted system prevents "stuffing the ballot box" by not allowing multiple votes for any candidate or proposal.


 4. Representative Accountability

  • Report and export data- upon voting completion you can export the results to an easy-to-use excel file for record keeping. The results can also easily be configured to broadcast on local television for display to the public
  • With an audience response system clerks have an efficient way to register meeting members, votes and broadcast voting results to the general public. Unique audience response methodology and software gives both voting representatives and clerks the polling capabilities they need for quick and accurate voting results


Citizens need a way to hold their local representatives accountable. Harnessing the use of an electronic voting system for meetings will give voting clerks the power they need to hold representatives accountable. This is vital in our democracy. In an anonymous mode, the secret ballot allows voters to freely cast their ballot without fear of tracking or recrimination. In roster mode, it tracks all votes and referendum data by individual representatives. This keeps representatives accountable to the people. The software can record all of the ballot measures and reports and publishes each representative's corresponding vote. On the day of voting get you should also have the ability to connect your voting to the local TV broadcast so the whole community can tune-in for live voting.


From weighted and proxy voting to multiple-candidate and multiple-pass elections, no ballot is too complex for advanced audience response software. With electronic voting systems you will equip your voters to cast the right number of votes or rapidly make multiple candidate selections.  Using these city council voting tools, voters will make fewer errors, run-off elections will happen instantaneously, and delegates will see ballot results live in real time. 


Electronic voting systems through audience response technology will ultimately save time and money during the voting process. Avoid the expense and time of preparing and distributing paper ballots or waiting for manual count results.  With instant tabulation council voting tools will save clerks and assistants countless hours spent not only on preparing, but manually counting paper ballots. This means delegates can conduct more ballots and get more done in less time! No matter how many materials are introduced, delegates and voters will also know the results before they ever depart from the meeting.


If accuracy, privacy and time are important in your voting and election processes, you will benefit from the precise and quick capabilities of audience response software. It can reduce the time to prepare, administer, and hand-count yes/no balloting and elections for officers and boards by more than 50 percent. Audience response systems are designed to enhance the democratic decision making and delegate voting processes by providing for a fast and efficient interactive polling system.


Follow the link below to see how using OptionPower’s Council Voting Module will improve your next Representative, council or board meeting!



Posted by Kendra Davis

How Can We Help?

Related Topics

See all

Subscribe Now!