How to simplify an assembly with electronic and online voting

Digital voting platforms can simplify the decision-making process during an assembly, offering advantages of speed, accuracy and remote participation.

What is an assembly

A shareholders’ meeting is a deliberative, representative body whose purpose is to make decisions for the direction of the organization and to deliberate on affairs of common interest: for example, in joint-stock companies it represents the body that decides on corporate objectives or appoints directors; in the union context, on the other hand, it is an important tool for protecting workers’ rights.

The assembly differs from regular meetings because members of the organization-defined by regulations, bylaws and other rules-have a legal right to attend and exercise voting rights.

The assembly therefore-in any context-is a decisive moment, a fundamental democratic and governance tool: knowing how to organize it best becomes decisive.

The main steps of an assembly are convening, accreditation, holding and deliberation. Compared with traditional systems, digitizing assembly operations means cutting expected expenses by 90 percent and considerably reducing the time spent by organizers in managing the event.

Let’s look at how to simplify the process of creating an assembly through the Eligo digital voting platform.

Preparation/Convocation

Notice to members can be sent in different ways: posting the notice at the headquarters, by pec, by registered mail, by fax. But with a digital voting platform, it can be done directly by sending an email to those entitled, jointly with online and offline communications.

When preparing and convening the meeting, which must be done according to the rules stipulated in the bylaws or at least 15 days before the set date, the information required by law must be included.

In Eligo Assembly simply type in the following information:

  • date and time
  • possibly physical location/site of the assembly
  • agenda
  • searchable documentation
  • link to the live streaming / url of the meeting if the meeting is held both in-person and online – mode that allows all members, even those who are distant or unable to physically travel to the designated venue.

Having typed in the information, the list of participants is defined and uploaded. At this point you simply email – massively – the agenda reminder and credentials to those eligible to vote during the meeting.

If voters’ Certified email or email addresses are not available, this information can be collected through a digital form made available in the weeks prior to the convocation.

The convening and preparation steps are completed in a few simple steps and in about 15 minutes.

Verification of members present (quorum)

Prior to the opening of the meeting proceedings, it is necessary to verify that the constitutive quorum for the specific call (first and second) has been reached.

A quorum also needs to be assessed on the basis of the weight of each participant, if provided for in its bylaws. This calculation can be automated with a digital voting platform. In Eligo, for example, there is a grid in the organizer/administrator interface that can verify and track the attendance of participants, both at meetings held remotely and hybrid meetings. It is important that participant information is then reported within the minutes once the assembly proceedings are closed.

Conduct of the Assembly with electronic and online voting

Once a constitutive quorum is verified, the meeting proceedings are opened with a click.

We proceed with the conduct of the meeting, dealing with the various items on the agenda. For each agenda item, the chairman invites the defendants to express their approval through their vote. With Eligo Assembly, participants’ voting expressions both remotely and in presence are recorded in real time.

Once an item is closed, the chairman can view the results, project them if necessary, and proceed to the remaining agenda items if any.

Deliberation and Minutes

Through a button, the assembly proceedings are closed, and after a handful of seconds, organizers can download a full report of the event that shows all the details and data of the assembly such as Start and End of proceedings, attendance and voting results as well as all those relevant elements such as:

  • The company name, registered office, share capital, V.A.T. number and tax code, and R.E.A. number of the company
  • The time and place of the beginning and end of the meeting proceedings
  • The manner in which the meeting is called.
  • Agenda items under discussion.
  • Who takes the chair of the meeting and who is secretary
  • Mentions regarding the regularity of the constitution, ascertaining the identity and legitimacy of those present, ascertaining the results of the votes (for, against, abstained) and the manner through which they were taken.

These mentions are expressly prescribed in Article 2371 of the Civil Code:

  • Generalities and holdings of members present, members of the board of directors present, and members of the board of auditors present
  • What convocation it is (first, second or subsequent)
  • Summary in order of discussion
  • Resolutions approved and those rejected

The criteria that establish the validity of a meeting’s resolutions are usually set and spelled out in its bylaws.

Digitization of the preparation and set-up of an assembly with electronic and online voting also applies to assemblies held in presence. The only aspects that change are the choice of the physical location of the assembly venue to be indicated during preparation and the accreditation of participants to verify their attendance. Even for assemblies held at a physical location, participant voting can still be done digitally, so as to simplify the expression of votes and the minute-taking phase without giving up the meeting.