We are conduting a short survey to know your opinion on electronic voting; that is whether the election of council members, and other questions on which the membership votes, should take place electronically (voting from your own personal computer) instead of during a general assembly.
Electronic voting has been implemented in many other professional organisations and societies, including professional engineering societies. After an extensive discussion at the last council meeting we feel there are a number of pros and cons to such a change. If we were to implement this change we would have to do so by changing the society by-laws during a general assembly and therefore the meeting in Prague 2015 offers a good opportunity to do this as there will be no council elections in 2015. The new system could then be made available for the 2016 council elections. However there is no sense in us proposing a by-law change if most of the membership is against electronic voting. Therefore I ask you to complete this very short survey about your opinion on electronic voting and if more members are in favour than not we will propose the change at the General Assembly (GA). Please understand that the change will still only go through IF there is a quorum number of members at the GA and there is a majority vote for the change.
The suggestion would be that information about the candidates would be released and voting would take place over a time period of about two weeks before the start of the congress and the polls would close 12 hours before the GA. The results would be announced at the following GA. The pros and cons of electronic voting are as follows (in no particular priority order).
More members can take part in the voting process.
Less time will be needed at the GA for voting and vote-counting.
There will be less risk of ‘human error’ in the vote count.
Members who wish to stand for council but cannot attend that particular meeting of the ESB at which voting takes place will not be disadvantaged.
The GA may be less well attended if elections are not taking place.
If there is less incentive for the members standing for council to be present at ESB congresses there may be less opportunity for voters to interact with candidates and it will be more difficult to assign and handover council roles.
There may be potential for hacking and voter fraud.
With these benefits and drawbacks in mind please complete this short survey (only 4 questions) via this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LB8QZW3 to indicate your opinion on electronic voting.