Manager’s Message – January 2023

Efficiency of Electronic Voting

Each January marks the beginning of a new financial year and operating budget for United Electric Co-op Inc. In addition, the new year is often the time for implementing several initiatives and efforts to serve the cooperative’s members more efficiently.

One of those milestones occurred this past fall through a bylaw change that was approved by United Electric’s membership.

As you are aware, democratic member control is one of the guiding principles of a cooperative like United Electric. This means every member’s voice matters when it comes to cooperative elections. Last October, a ballot measure was proposed to members allowing for electronic voting in United Electric elections. Voting concluded in November, with an overwhelming majority of votes in favor of using electronic voting.

First and foremost, thank you to all who participated in the voting process. United Electric is well suited to meet the needs of our members because we are locally governed. Each member gets a voice and a vote in how the co-op is run, and each voice and vote are equal. United Electric’s leadership team and employees live right here in our community. Our board of directors, who help set long-term priorities for the organization, also live on cooperative lines. These board members have been elected by neighbors just like you.

We know our members have a valuable perspective, and that’s why we continually seek your input and encourage you to weigh in on important co-op issues and participate in co-op elections.

Secondly, electronic voting will provide significant time and financial savings to the cooperative and make the overall election process more efficient. We anticipate ease of use and increased participation from our members. However, specific steps are required to participate in electronic voting, including having an active account through our SmartHub page or the SmartHub app. Additional information and instructions will be outlined in upcoming editions of Ruralite.

Live voting at the annual meeting will still be offered. Members can also cast votes in the United Electric office. If a member would prefer a traditional mailed ballot, it will be available upon request.

If an election is required before our upcoming annual meeting in March, electronic voting will be used safely and securely. As we begin another new year, we look forward to your participation and appreciate your continued support for making United Electric an outstanding organization.

Michael Darrington