NAJA launches online voting in 2017

Posted by Native American Journalists Association on 08/28/2017

The Native American Journalists Association will launch online voting for the 2017 NAJA Board of Directors election.

The elections committee created a process document with policy and procedure, which NAJA has adopted to ensure a secure online and in-person balloting process, prior to the opening of online voting Sept. 4-8, 2017.

Election Dates and Times

  • Online elections will be open Monday, Sept. 4 from 8 a.m. CST until 7 p.m. CST, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017.

  • In-person voting for the elections will be open from 10.a.m. - 5 p.m. PT, on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in coordination with the 2017 Excellence in Journalism conference in Anaheim, Calif. The NAJA election booth will be located onsite during the event.

Below is a description of the design and process of the online ballot voting. Any member who chooses to vote in-person will still be able to do so onsite during the 2017 Excellence in Journalism conference. Instructions for voting in-person are also included in this document for your reference.

Background on Ballot Design

The election ballot was created using survey software called Qualtrics. You may review its security information here:

NAJA tested a beta version of the survey and its distribution to ensure ballots were recorded accurately and to review the reporting process. Findings and adjustments of ballot language were addressed. In order to maintain privacy within the elections process, individual votes will not be tied to specific member information.

Ballot results data are protected by a two-factor mobile authentication. This means NAJA has the balloting tool set up under a Qualtrics' login and password, with access restricted to the executive director, election committee and the president as proxy.

Voting Procedure

NAJA will email unique links to each eligible voting member prior to opening the online voting period, Sept. 4-8, 2017.

NAJA staff will upload all eligible voting members’ email addresses into the Qualtrics software. The election committee chair will review these emails prior to upload to ensure accuracy and eligibility.

Once eligible members are determined and addresses are uploaded, a unique ballot link will be sent to each voter, via the email associated with their NAJA membership. You MUST access the ballot from this email. Ballots include a unique link that may only be accessed through the specified email address associated with the member’s account.

Members must ensure that NAJA has a current email address on file. Please visit the NAJA membership portal at prior to the online voting period to update your contact information.

The election committee chair will review the distribution of the online survey and upon close of the online voting period, will download a data report that will show those who have completed, partially completed or did not complete the ballot.

Voter Eligibility

Eligible membership types include: Individual Professional, Student, Tribal Media and Lifetime Members. Associate Members are not eligible to vote in NAJA elections. For voter eligibility determinations, please reference your membership level here:

Online Voting Process

Eligible members in good standing, as validated by the election committee chair and prescribed in Article III of the NAJA bylaws, will receive an email with a unique ballot link with the subject line: “NAJA Board Online Voting Ballot.”

Step 1

Eligible voting members will receive an email that appears similar to the one below:

Step 2

This email will contain the message:

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 2.22.23 PM.png

Step 3

Select the green “Click Here to Vote” button to be directed to the unique online ballot. Below is a desktop and mobile view.


Step 4a

Select “In-person during EIJ17 at the NAJA Voting Booth” to defer the online ballot. Deferring members will receive the below screen:

Selecting this option will close the online voting session and an online ballot will not be cast. Deferring members will retain the eligibility to vote onsite during the in-person voting period.

Step 4b

Select “Online with this digital ballot” to be directed to the NAJA board election ballot. Select the candidates and/or select “Write-in” to enter a name not listed on the ballot.

Step 5

Select the double arrow in the red box at the bottom right of your screen to submit your ballot. See example below:



Challenge Ballots

In the event that a member attempts to vote in-person and the election booth staff determine that the member has already cast a ballot online, that member will be able to cast a challenge ballot. If there is a discrepancy between these two ballots, then the in-person ballot shall supersede the online ballot.

Please see the links below for more information on the how unique links are generated: