The Seventh Day Adventists’ South Central Conference learned about Meridia after receiving a recommendation for the system by other entities within the organization. The conference already had experience with electronic voting before, and opted to use Meridia’s TownVOTE electronic voting system for future meetings after receiving a positive review from other Seventh Day Adventists branches.
“The leadership saw it being done in different places; they liked how efficient it made the process. And, it seemed to have leveraged the possibility of things going wrong with the manual system.” (Roger Wade) The conference made the switch to Meridia during their July 24th constituency meeting, where they used TownVOTE software and keypads to vote on officers and bylaw changes.
Traditionally, conducting a secret ballot required the conference to manually hand out the ballots, then collect and count each individual vote. Participants were often concerned with the fairness and accuracy of the manual vote-counting process, leading to increased stress and tension during the meeting. These concerns were quickly put to rest when participants experienced the simplicity and accuracy of the system, which allowed the conference to mitigate vote-counting errors and reduce the tedium normally associated with secret ballots.
The South Atlantic Conference had great success during their September 11th meeting in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where they utilized electronic voting keypads for nominations and voting on constitutional bylaw changes. Like the South Central Conference, the meeting marked the organization’s first time using electronic voting systems instead of traditional handwritten ballots.
With a sizable crowd of over 800 voting delegates and various votes to discuss, deliberate, and debate, the challenge was to address each issue efficiently while also being thorough and accurate. Meridia’s keypads and software proved to be the perfect antidote to the tedious and time-consuming manual voting process from past meetings. After a brief period to allow them to test their keypads and familiarize themselves with their devices, voting delegates appreciated the simplicity and speed of the system. With TownVOTE software handling the vote-counting, participants simply pressed 1 for yes, or 2 for no, then immediately saw their votes being counted on screen. The conference plans to continue using the system for future meetings.