How can unions ensure safe and fair elections in virtual environments?

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the face of union meetings, many of which are still held virtually over Zoom or similar technologies.

John Westerhaus, CPA and Account Manager for Survey & Ballot Systems, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how his company provides unions and professional institutions a system for fair, balanced and secure virtual elections.

A virtual election platform designed for unions

Survey & Ballot Systems is an election services company founded in 1990 that partners with labor unions, associations, professional societies, financial institutions and cooperatives to help run their director elections, officer elections and bylaw votes.

They currently work with more than 60 Local and International unions.

Unions turn to the company because they want to remove staff and board officers from the election process, Westerhaus explained. The company strives to ensure unbiased results through a highly secure virtual method of voting.

The company utilizes high security measures that include a detailed auditable process to safeguard against voting scandals, Westerhaus stated. The entire system is highly encrypted, including all membership data. It also utilizes firewalls to ensure digital security — a top priority in both safeguarding private data and ensuring a tamper-free election process.

The company does not oversee governmental elections but instead focuses on unions and private businesses, he added.

Pandemic highlights need for virtual voting systems

With the rise of the pandemic, there has been a push for virtual meetings by unions, Westerhaus said. These unions need a way to vote on leadership resolutions and bylaws and Survey & Ballot Systems provides a secure, real-time voting solution that is ideal for virtual environments. Tabulations can be made instantly.

The system also includes document sharing so users can have the necessary literature to make their decisions.

The company’s platform enables unions to maintain offices all over the world and facilitate member input in a secure environment.


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