Housing Society Elections are conducted every August 14. At least that is what the official information says. But this is hardly maintained. And elections often get delayed. This year has deferred elections for obvious reasons – the coronavirus pandemic. In Maharashtra, the elections have been deferred to September 17. However, this is still a fiduciary duty that must be attended to, no matter the situation. We have a consolidated blog about the rules and regulations to follow before, during and after the election process. You can click here to view the details. In this article, we will look at the present scenario and the four primary problems that might crop up.
Present Challenges In Housing Society Elections.
Challenge 1 : With non-negotiable norms of social distancing doing the rounds, the first challenge is organising a physical election and ensuring complete safety for each one.
Solution : Societies can opt for online elections. This has some advantages :
a. Social Distancing can be practiced.
b. Higher participation since members can cast their votes from anywhere.
c. Promotion of absolute secrecy to ensure elections are free and fair.
Challenge 2 : With many individuals having moved out temporarily to be closer with their families, supervision of the election process is something to think about.
Solution : The law says a Returning Officer must be appointed to ensure fairness. This can again be done digitally by giving ballot result access to the officer alone.
Challenge 3 : Organising the Election. This comprises holding a General Body Meeting to inform about election date, inviting candidatures and making each resident aware of election rules.
Solution : By now, apartment complexes and housing societies have become used to online meetings. So if you have passed the validity of online meetings in your bye-laws, you are good to go. In your housing society management software, meetings can be arranged. Schedule the meeting and agenda and send reminders. Choose your preferred mode of online platform. The minutes of the meeting can be recorded in your management software and all minutes regarding your housing society elections can be sent to invitees. The software can also help you to receive candidature, ensuring you give a chance to members not available in the city/town at the moment to submit their candidature. You can also upload documents highlighting the rules of elections within the network of your community. This ensures the information is available to all residents for their perusal at their convenience.
Challenge 4 : The post election handover. Usually, the handover from the outgoing management committee is done physically. The outgoing and incumbent members are present and go through all items that are handovered.
Solution : Once again, go digital. Post housing society elections, the handover can happen digitally by merely passing on login credentials of your housing society management software. The necessary moderators of each module can be edited with the new moderator.
Apart from these, there is often the question of ensuring a secret ballot system for absolute free and fair elections. Shifting elections online gives your members the trusted privacy of your home to cast their elections. They can easily see the list of the candidates and cast their votes accordingly. Communication regarding start and end of elections, election results, candidacy become easier with complete guarantee that updates have reached all residents.