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Convention prepares an experiment for smart devices

John King, Secretary of Convention

The 144th Annual Diocesan Convention will have an opportunity to experiment with new technology that could prove to be very cost effective for future Conventions. In conjunction with the Committee on Rules of Order and Elections, the Secretary of Convention will roll out an experiment to determine if the Convention can work with ElectionRunner, a software app designed for smartphones, tablets and web interfaces.

This software would allow Convention Deputies to vote from their own devices, or from devices supplied to them (either by the Convention or from borrowing someone else’s) and by using a unique individual identification key and password, be able to vote for the offices we elect at Convention. During the Fall of 2017, the Rules of Order Committee ran multiple test ballots putting the software through its’ paces. Supported on multiple operating systems, including iPhone and Android devices, the software has been found by the Committee to be very easy to use and meets high levels of voter security and fraud protection.

The Secretary of Convention will provide details to the deputies in the coming weeks regarding downloading the free software from their respective App stores, and the Convention will test the software on Saturday at the conclusion of our normal Election process which is currently performed via ScanTron balloting. Should this test prove successful, the Rules of Order Committee will work to establish new language within the Rules of Order document to accommodate the new system for the 145th Convention in 2019.

The savings, both from an environmental (no more ScanTron sheets!) and financial standpoint (the current system requires the support of a third party vendor, plus printing costs) will prove to be a very good stewardship of our election process.

It should be stressed that this will be a test of this solution, and the results will not be compared to actual Convention ballot results, nor will this system be in place for the Election of the XI Bishop in May. All official elections through 2018 will be handled by our current ScanTron method.