Value for Faith-based Meetings

Why use an audience response system for your faith-based meeting? Because speed, anonymity, and accuracy are critical. Whether your church holds council, synod, or leadership meetings, conferences or conventions, when it comes to voting for delegates, or giving attendees a voice on issues, an audience response system (ARS clickers) is the ideal method. This is true for church meetings of any size, small to large.

A quality audience response system can be used by faith-based organizers to speed up their conference process, aid transitions, decide elections, and empower every attendee to anonymously voice their opinion in front of their peers. Exceptional experience and reliable, easy-to-use equipment help to make voting and gathering opinions at your faith-based event a success.

We know of a conference that has designated vote walls labeled Yes, No, Abstain. The delegates leave their seats and place post-it notes on the appropriate wall to cast their vote. The drawback of this method is the complete lack of anonymity, the inherent inaccuracy, and the amount of time required to complete the voting. Here are some reasons not to use post-its, and some answers to typical questions from other churches.

1. Speed

A typical time for the attendees to vote is 10 seconds. The results are instantly available for projection on-screen. In addition, there are 82 various post-session reports that are available at the close of the session.

2. Anonymity

Extremely important, and generally overlooked. Each attendee’s vote should be anonymous, especially in groups where the members know each other. Truthful expression of opinions is very often influenced by expectations, or not wanting to offend others. Anonymity avoids the awkward situation of voting against a popular idea or candidate.

3. Accuracy

In close calls, there is no question of vote accuracy, as can happen with votes estimated by voice or raised hands. The system also locks out multiple votes from the same device and verifies that the vote has been received. Voting is recorded and available for instant analysis both at the convention and afterwards.

Flexible Features

Organizers for church meetings prefer flexible features in an audience response system (ARS) to accommodate a variety of custom needs. These may include segmented results [mixed/by type), achieving a consensus or quorum, amendment changes, proposals from the floor, weighted voting, proxy voting, multiple candidates, optional display of results, and so on. Solutions are easily tailored to the needs of the church meeting organizers.

I wholeheartedly endorse Quick Tally. They provided professional and personalized service to our 700 voting convention attendees. They were responsive to our individual and unique needs, both in preparation for the convention and in adjusting and adapting to issues that arose in real time.

 

This was our first encounter with Quick Tally, but anticipate engaging their fine service for years to come.

 

Canon Steve Nishibayashi, Secretary of Conventions Office, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

see more testimonials for Quick Tally >

Unique Guarantee

Quick Tally unconditionally guarantees our Full Service Option will meet or exceed your expectations, or there is no charge for our fee.

Options for Your Church Meetings

Run-it-Yourself Rentals

Run-it-Yourself Rentals (DIY audience response system) include not only the equipment, but one-on-one WebEx training, support, and a practice system.

Full Service Staffed Events

Full Service Staffed Events include all necessary equipment, a skilled technician onsite, and expert consultation on developing your interactive sessions for your church meetings to optimize the strategic use of the system.


ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS

 

Can I change from paper ballots to electronic voting?

There may be cumbersome rules that worked for paper ballots that are easily solvable when changing to ARS. For example, some organizations, such as The Girl Scouts of the USA, have vote verification rules requiring delivery of the voting results to a committee for approval prior to announcing the vote. This is easily accomplished by making the results (as they are being cast, in real time) instantly available to the committee for approval before viewing by the audience.

Weighted Voting — Does each delegate have one vote, or more?

If the voting is weighted (multiple votes for certain delegates) each device can be programmed to a specific number of votes. One key press is necessary for the vote to be cast representing a predetermined number. The voting devices can be labeled showing the number of votes and given out at registration to the appropriate individuals. It is also possible in advance for Quick Tally to weight the vote, label the device, and register it by name to the individual.

Proxy Voting — If a delegate is not in attendance during a vote, can another delegate cast the proxy vote?

The rules of some assemblies forbid proxy voting. For example, in both houses of the U.S. Congress, as well as in most if not all state legislatures, each member must be present and cast his/her own vote for that vote to be counted. It is also possible, as in the example above, to assign one weighted vote per delegation.

Is the delegate completely anonymous or identified?

Either is possible. We can program the name of the voter into our system, or not. Or, when handing out the registration/welcome packets, the code number on the back of each voting device may be recorded as belonging to that person. We very strongly recommend that the voter remain anonymous.

Must the vote always be displayed?

This is an optional choice. The results can be instantly displayed, or not. There are rare occasions where the results are not displayed until all of the questions in that series are answered, or not at all. This is very easily accomplished.

What if I we have proposals from the floor?

This is a flexible system. You may delete, skip, add new interactive questions, and display or not display responses. New nominees for a position may be added as fast as the person operating the system can type. Votes can be retaken. Impromptu questions may be quickly added.

How do I determine a quorum?

Some of our clients require that in an election there not only be a majority, but also a certain percentage of votes allocated to lay and clergy. In this example, we can create two groups, Lay and Clergy, at the start of the session so it’s easy to show the overall population of the assembly, and then the two subsets. Our technicians can run a program to make the calculations, as you may require, and display the complete results.

Is it possible to vote for multiple candidates?

Yes. There are question types that have been developed specifically for allowing multiple entries, giving the same value to each of the choices. There is another question type that automatically ranks the entries for that question, providing more or less weight to the selections in the order in which they were selected. This preserves the differentiation between a first choice and a second choice—if there is one.

Amendment changes in church voting process

House of Delegates members also vote on amendments. Once the proposed changes are understood, the simple voting question may be put to a quick vote: 1. Approve; 2. Disapprove; 3. Abstain. We can accomplish this by displaying a non-voting PowerPoint screen showing the proposed amendment, followed by the simple voting screen of Yes, No, Abstain. As an example, the American Dental Association had separate technicians assigned to separate screens, one displaying the original text and another the newly proposed text, which could be edited in real time. It all concluded with our simple voting screen.

Reporting results

The PowerPoint displays projected on screen at the event are instantly available and emailed to you within a minute of the completion of a session, or at the conclusion of your conference. There are 82 different reports available immediately for analysis.

 

As the choice for church meetings across the country, Quick Tally offers exceptional experience and reliable, easy-to-use equipment that make voting and gathering opinions at your faith-based event a success. And, we back that up with an unconditional guarantee.

 


With over 30 years of experience in helping clients achieve their meetings goals. If I can help your organization discover this power, please contact me.

Alan Warshaw
President
Quick Tally® Interactive Systems, Inc.
Direct Dial: 310.306.4930

About the Author: Alan Warshaw

After graduating from New York University with a degree in Communications, Alan attended the New School for Social Research, Graduate School at N.Y.U. and the Master’s Program in Cinema at U.C.L.A. Following his service in the U.S. Army, Alan was employed by Doyle, Dane and Burnbach Advertising Agency. He worked in the U.S. and Europe in the feature motion picture production business. He was employed by Quick Tally Interactive Systems for one year prior to acquiring the company. He has owned and run the company for three decades and has pioneered in the manufacturing of ARS equipment and providing interactive event services. In addition to US State and Federal Government Agencies, America’s leading companies, associations and television networks, he has also worked for events clients in the EU, New Zealand, Hong Kong Thailand and Dubai.