Technology and Senior Citizens
According to the Pew Research Center, as long ago as 2012 59% of seniors (defined as ages 65 or older) were internet users. And, like the younger individuals, the percentage of seniors using computers rises year by year. That flies in the face of the conventional “wisdom” that says most seniors don’t have a computer or don’t use technology.
But what is the older group doing on their computers? Are they just playing Solitaire or reading books? Again, the Pew Research Center says that 71% of these seniors with computers go online every day. This is a strong indication that once a senior is comfortable with new technology, they will equal the younger crowd in the use of that technology.
If we agree that technology-based tools such as online community software can help support its leaders in efficiency, organization and communication and such things, then how about electronic voting?
Florida is a state approaching 20 million people and it is made up of approximately 24% individuals age 60 and older. In Florida this group (approximately 24% of Florida’s population) makes up the state’s largest voting block – more than 40% of all voters! Apparently, voting itself is not a problem – this group wants to vote.
So, seniors are voters and a large percent of seniors use computers on a daily basis.
Additionally,we know that electronic voting for Board elections in Florida associations is finally here. But along with the occasional “Hurrah!” and “Yippee!” some Boards are resistant because their associations include many seniors. Based on what we now know, that might not be a correct assumption.
It is understandable that new things make some of us fearful. While it is also a fact that as we get older we may adopt new things a bit slower than when we were younger, it is incorrect to assume seniors will not embrace using online voting in your association. The research just doesn't support that concept.
Additionally, our seniors add much to our state and our associations. Their participation and input should be encouraged, because it is their input that will make our associations a better place to live. You might even consider setting up a committee to encourage electronic voting - and make seniors the leaders of that committee!
So let’s go back and see if seniors aren't leading the “Hurrah!” and “Yippee!” cheers for online voting!
by HOAst, Inc. 813.616.6288 contact@HOAst-Inc.com