The IGS elections just got smoother. For the first time in IGS election history an external service provider has been engaged to provide a more effective and transparent voting experience.
Since April 18, IGS members have been voting for their new leadership team – eight Council Members, a President and Vice President. Voting continues until June 18 with the successful candidates revealed on July 1. They will serve a four-year term, beginning in September 2022.
This year the IGS decided to enlist specialist election management company UK Engage to organize, oversee and support the process. The company, based in Greater Manchester, UK, provides end-to-end, multi-channel voting services to a range of industries and sectors including local authorities, universities, professional bodies and membership organizations.
UK Engage has been tasked with:
- Conducting an election independent of the IGS via a secure website
- Sending members eligible to vote a voting email with a secure link to cast their votes
- Collating all votes
- Providing the results to the IGS once voting closes
- Providing reminders to members yet to cast their vote
- Offering a support service for members’ technical queries that may arise during online voting
IGS Executive Director John Kraus said: “As the IGS matures, it makes sense to keep in step with best practice. It is already commonplace for professional institutions and other membership bodies to sub-contract electoral and member survey services to third party professional service providers who can offer a superior service at relatively low cost, while giving us the additional assurance that votes are conducted completely independently.
“We wanted to offer complete independence in the vote; no IGS staff members or IGS members will have any insight into how votes are being cast until the vote closes. This ensures that no candidate can have privileged access to voting data during the election. It also means we can offer a superior user experience that is simply not possible within our own resources, with a dedicated, responsive and technically experienced user help service that we could not otherwise provide.
“We hope this will increase confidence in the impartiality of the vote and provide an improved user experience.”
Mr Kraus said outsourcing council elections in this way may become permanent depending on the success of the pilot, and extended to other member engagement activities such as the annual member survey.
All members should have received an initial email from UK Engage on April 18, with a follow-up email today (May 19) reminding members to cast their votes. If you are yet to receive them and they do not appear in your Spam/Junk folders, please contact IGS Secretariat Manager Elise Oatman at firstname.lastname@example.org.