Meridia was called on by the NAACP to provide an electronic voting system for 3,500 delegates at their July 14-20th 2022 Annual Convention in Atlantic City, NJ. Each year, the NAACP conducts a business session during their annual convention where delegates from each state are called on to vote on items of importance for the Association. This year, in their first in-person meeting since 2019, for the first time in their 113-year history, NAACP chose to move away from voice and paper voting.
Driven by the need to make voting more accurate, reliable, and secure, each delegate was given a handheld voting device and submitted their response to motions and voting topics with the single press of a button. The voting devices are often called clickers and are widely used in live group voting throughout the world. The voting system was well received by delegates and NAACP leadership alike and allowed the association to quickly pass and move through their business agenda.
Were Older Delegates able to Understand the Technology?
Meridia’s EZ-VOTE group voting clickers are designed to be as simple as possible to use. The voting devices have color-coded Yes, No, Abstain buttons which allow participants to quickly submit their vote with a single press. The technology is most commonly used by unions, associations, religious organizations, charitable groups, and corporate boards where the age of the average member trends higher. However, the devices’ easy to understand interface means that if a delegate can turn on and off a light switch, pressing the Yes or No button isn’t a problem.
Is the System Secure?
Security was of the utmost importance for the NAACP so they selected a system that is completely disconnected from the internet to avoid the risk of any outside interference. Additionally, internet-based systems that rely on cellular networks, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth technologies often encounter intermittent signal strength and network congestion, which greatly affect reliability. Meridia’s TownVOTE system was chosen because it utilizes a closed-loop local RF communication network and a proprietary protocol. The signal strength is limited to the voting venue and Meridia’s Wireless Assurance and Security Protocol (WASP) protects against local security risks.
Flexibility and Speed is of Utmost Importance
NAACP also needed to make last-minute changes to the voting agenda, creating new Resolutions and Amendments on-the-fly. With the Meridia TownVOTE software, all changes were recorded quickly and efficiently. Once the Chairman instructed the audience to cast their votes, the anonymous screen was populated and when closed, we instantly declared the vote Passed or Failed.
How Can You Use Electronic Voting at Your Meetings?
Meridia’s live group voting system has been used by NAACP and other organizations to:
- Make Ad-Hoc Motions from the Floor
- Approve Amendments to Existing Motions
- Change Bylaws
- Accept Annual Reports
- Vote for Grants
- Enforce Voting Rights
- Distribute Delegates
- Elect Leadership
- Open/Close the Meeting
- End Debate/Call Question