Modernizing an Association’s Balloting System to Deepen Member Engagement

Maintaining an active association requires effective member engagement to provide ongoing value and operational growth. One of the key areas that associations engage members is through the voting process. An association balloting system must work efficiently on the backend while providing an easy voting experience on the frontend. Without a well-designed user experience that meets modern users’ demands, associations risk a lack of member engagement and operational inefficiencies leading to a disengaged membership. So, when the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) needed to update their member experience by improving their balloting system and processes, they turned to UDig for support — and found a way forward.



An existing balloting system utilizing outdated technology and a segmented experience drove inefficient workflows that prevented members from actively engaging in the association’s balloting system.


Create a new balloting and voting system based on AASHTO’s unique requirements and develop a modern user experience that was integrated with its other online memberfacing capabilities.


A flexible, scalable balloting system that has improved how they work and deepened member engagement and satisfaction.

"UDig brought the vital combination of association industry knowledge and modern technology expertise that made them an ideal partner. Their collaborative approach and transparency in their communication allowed us to overcome challenges that often arise when creating and enhancing custom services. UDig’s efficient delivery process and ability to adapt quickly allowed AASHTO to deliver a successful modern balloting system that will add immediate value to our members."
- Dave Golden, Director of Technology & Digital Strategy

Challenge: A Manually Intensive, Outdated Balloting System

AASHTO has a large membership base of 1.3 million individual members. To operate efficiently and productively, AASHTO relies on an active member population to vote on key priorities across various membership committees. However, their 15-year-old system didn’t meet their membership’s modern requirements and lacked an intuitive user experience (UX). This led to frustration when volunteers accessed the platform — from members and staff alike — resulting in a decline in member engagement across their balloting initiatives and a drag on their operations.

Further, improving member engagement was a critical factor of their long-term strategic plan. To support this priority, AASHTO has upgraded their website to improve their member experiences. However, the current ballot system couldn’t seamlessly merge with their new design. Any out-of-the-box software solutions either didn’t integrate with the new website or required multiple, costly workarounds to support their needs.

These challenges meant that AASHTO: 

  • Was experiencing a drop in balloting engagement from their membership, affecting their ability to act on voted measures 
  • Needed up to 30 hours to design a single ballot, pulling their nimble staff away from other essential responsibilities 
  • Was unable to edit created and saved ballots, requiring a technical team to make changes on the backend 
  • Had inaccurate data, causing inefficiencies and inaccuracies in the balloting creation and voting experience 
  • Had a patchwork of features that only worked on certain browsers, resulting in association staff often needing to switch browsers when creating ballots 
  • Was stuck in a costly process whenever creating and changing ballots, due to business teams needing to make their own system changes

Strategy: Customize Their Balloting System to Support Their Strategic Plan’s Vision

In order to meet AASHTO’s goals, we knew we had to help them overcome their breadth of challenges while supporting their strategic plan’s goals for member engagement. To do so, we partnered closely with them, gaining an in-depth understanding of their various priorities, as well as the modern experience their members desired.  

After analyzing their existing challenges, we knew any solution we designed had to:  

  • Overcome the cumbersome technical debt and system dependencies they inherited after 15 years of maintaining and updating an outdated platform 
  • Flow seamlessly into the new website design, both in function and aesthetics 
  • Enable AMS integration with their existing system with the flexibility to integrate with future systems
  • Streamline data entry and management 
  • Create a workflow for adding people to a committee, creating an admins account, and gaining access to the ballot 
  • Support a collaborative platform that enables different people to seamlessly make updates 
  • Enable a concurrent ballot system for designing and managing multiple member ballots 

As we designed their solution, we were by their side at each step, providing the support and guidance they needed at any point. This proactive relationship meant that we were able to: 

  • Engage in weekly check-ins with their stakeholders and users to inform real-time needs and solutions  
  • Provide quick updates when our client needed them, ensuring prompt action and solutions 
  • Talk through concerns or priorities, and support evolving operational priorities 
  • Pivot quickly when unexpected challenges or needs arose

Outcome: A Time-Saving Balloting System and Engaged Membership Base

Today, AASHTO has improved member engagement across their balloting experiences. They now have a scalable, flexible tool that integrates seamlessly into their new and existing systems, supporting a consistent UX that has modernized how they work. The process for creating a ballot has also greatly simplified: What used to take up to 30 hours, now takes less than a couple of hours, freeing their staff to work on other priorities. Drop-down menus auto-populate fields, ensuring consistency in messaging and ease of creation. Concurrent ballot capabilities maximize how easily they can capture votes from multiple committees simultaneously, while supporting proxy voter requirements. Rather than address multiple solutions when problems arise with the association balloting system, they have one location for fixing issues, greatly streamlining how they work. Across their association, AASHTO has transformed their operations and deepened member engagement while setting themselves up to adapt to tomorrow’s demands. 

How We Did It

Application Development
Application Integration
Application Modernization
UX/UI Design

Tech Stack

  • C#
  • Hasura
  • Kubernetes
  • Postgres
  • React (JavaScript)