Virtual Meetings, Registration, Balloting, and Voting
Meeting Registration Requirements
Attendees must register to attend, to allow the PTA to verify their membership. A non-member who intends to run from the floor can register and be approved to attend as a guest, however, only members can vote on PTA business.
- When setting up the registration form, make sure to ask the registrants for their full name, phone number, and an email address that they will have access to during the meeting as ballots will be sent to the email provided in their registration.
- The form should also include an area for attendees to notify the PTA if they intend to run from the floor for any position, if your Executive Board has chosen to allow this option.
- Each member must register separately with their own unique email address to receive a ballot, including members who have multiple PTA members in the same household.
A designee should regularly check the registration form to ensure the PTA will have quorum at the meeting. Inevitably things change and people who register may become unavailable to attend. Continue posting announcements of the meeting until at least twice the number of your quorum have registered.
Ballot voting should be used for the purpose of collecting membership votes anonymously. Virtual elections that are contested must be conducted using ballots. A Ballot template for a PTA Election can be found here. Please make a copy and customize for your PTA by clicking the three dots in the upper right hand corner and choosing "Make a Copy." If you don’t make a copy, everyone will have access to edit your ballot.
When using ballots, the following requirements apply:
- When it is time to vote, the ballot must be mailed to members in attendance only.
- For an election, one ballot must be used for each position. It must include all candidates for that position and should be emailed to members in attendance after all candidates finish speaking. Take care to send the ballot to members only and not any candidates who are not yet members.
- Voting must stay open for 2 minutes.
- Close the form after 2 minutes and make sure the number of votes cast is not more than the number of members in attendance.
- The President shall declare the results as quickly as possible and shall not move to the next item until they have declared the results.
- If voting results in a tie, you must reballot (create a copy of your form in advance just in case).
There are various free platforms and apps that may be helpful when hosting your virtual meeting(s), based on the guidance herein.
Platforms, Apps, and Tools to Meet Requirements
Please note, each of these tools will have features and limitations that make them more or less useful for your PTA. Some options include:
- Google Hangouts
- GoToMeeting / GoToWebinar
Mention of these companies does not imply endorsement by Texas PTA. A resource to compare platforms can be found here.
*Please note that Zoom’s free Basic plan normally limits conference calls to 40 minutes, but this rule has been temporarily lifted for K-12 schools impacted by COVID-19. Click here to learn how to access this offer, and how to verify your school using its official email address.
It is imperative that you regularly check for updated security features from Zoom. Some of our PTAs have had their meetings hacked and inappropriate images were shared by the hackers, forcing them to contact authorities.
Some recommendations to keep Zoom Meetings secure:
- Generate a unique ID for each meeting
- Schedule meeting as private
- Create a password for your meetings
- Under the security icon (badge at the bottom left of the screen)
- Turn off participant ability to share their screen and chat.
- The meeting host can name trusted participants as co-hosts, which will allow them to share their screen and support the host with meeting security.
- Lock the meeting a few minutes after starting
- Do no share the meeting link in public forums
- More can be found here
Registration and Balloting
Texas PTA recommends using a free survey tool for meeting registration, balloting, and voting. Some free options include:
- Google Forms
- Survey Monkey
Tips on creating a Google Form can be found here (a ballot template is above in the Balloting Requirements section).
Survey Monkey also has a free version. You must set the account up ahead of time and have any questions ready, including the names of the candidates, when preparing the survey.
Mention of these companies does not imply endorsement by Texas PTA. A resource to compare them can be found here.
If voting does not require an anonymous or ballot vote, a PTA should first try a voice vote. If the results of a voice vote cannot be determined, a PTA may consider using any of the following tools:
- Facebook Messenger
Mention of these services does not imply endorsement by Texas PTA.
Texas PTA recommends using the least amount of means for voting during a virtual meeting to minimize confusion and error.