Murrumbidgee Irrigation's shareholders are worried a switch to electronic voting ahead of this year's AGM will lead to a digital divide between the company and its stakeholders.
MI has asked share registry business Link Market Services to conduct the voting for their annual meeting.
It's a change some irrigators and shareholders are unhappy with and worried it will cause problems into the future, however MI said the change makes voting more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Griffith District Citrusgrowers Association (GDCA) chairman Vito Mancini is concerned the online system is overly complex and believes paper ballots need to be an option.
Mr Mancini said the process to obtain a paper ballot was difficult and frustrating.
"They don't have any ideas on what makes our life easy or convenient," he said.
"They (MI) make decisions within an office with no understanding of the real world.
"A lot of growers in the GDCA don't have emails or easy access to a computer. They rely on their children or grandchildren."
Mr Mancini said MI was one of the most important companies in the MIA because of its role delivering water that growers, packers and exporters relied on. The annual vote is our way of helping set the direction of this company
"I'd hate to think that will be taken away from people with this latest change," Mr Mancini said.
He was calling on the board to make sure paper voting was easily accessible for all shareholders.
Grapegrower Bruno Altin said there was a history of MI not consulting or communicating with its customers and shareholders over the years.
"The biggest problem is the lack of information from MI about what's changed and the lack of information about how we vote," Mr Altin said.
"This is where the confusion comes from.
"It risks skewing the vote and people becoming disengaged with MI."
Mr Altin said the change shouldn't be happening so soon before the AGM.
"I think most shareholders weren't aware that Link Market Services were going to audit everything up until two to three weeks ago," he said.
"There's so much paperwork with agriculture, it's why we have farmers as directors on this company.
"We know that farmers on the board means their decisions are more likely to align with ours.
"I hope MI listens to the shareholders and makes paper voting available for whoever desires to vote that way."
It's the first year that an independent ballot service provider will run member elections - with eight nominees for vacancies on the board.
MI's chairman Nayce Dalton said that electronic voting has proven to be a success everywhere it has been introduced, with greater participation and less cost.
"It is also more efficient and environmentally friendly than sending printed material by post," Mr Dalton said.
Importantly, shareholders still have the option to vote in hard paper copy format.
"Shareholders who would prefer not to vote online can simply request a paper voting form," Mr Dalton said.
"Voting doesn't open until October 15th, and it is open for three weeks so there is plenty of time to work with us to get your vote in.
"We also understand transition creates some concerns and if shareholders have any questions or need assistance, they shouldn't hesitate to contact MI on 6962 0200."
A spokesman said MI has sent correspondence to shareholders including flyers, with further information available on its website.
Voting will close on November 3, with the AGM to begin on November 8.
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