ElectionsOnline’s online voting service has long supported the ability to save any election as a template which may be used to create new elections in the future to spare the election administrator from going through the entire election setup process. Create a new election from a saved template, and you only need to provide the new election dates and candidate names to get an election created. Position properties and voter groups would all be applied to the new election automatically.
It’s been a wonderful, time-saving feature, but is now being phased out in favor of something even better. You may now create a new election by copying a previous election. This means:
- You no longer need to save an election as a template in order for it be available.
Not that there was anything burdensome about it, but is was necessary to save an election as a template for reuse in the future. Those familiar with the system may have already noticed that the links for saving an election as a template have vanished from the system’s interface.
- All parts of a prior election, are applied to the new election.
While position properties and voter groups were saved as part of a template, candidate biography templates were not. They are however saved with prior elections so when a new election is created by copying a prior election, any candidate biography templates are applied to the new election. This is particularly beneficial given that creating a candidate biography template can be one of the more time-consuming parts of setting up an election.
Any election that started after September 1, 2017 may be copied. For elections prior to that, not all parts were saved in the system and therefore, they will not work to permit copying. It will still be necessary to create a new election from a saved template in those cases until September 2018 at which time even that ability will be removed from the system leaving only the ability to create a new election by copying a prior election.