Frequent Questions

What does it cost?

Prices are at the Evote pricing page. Be sure to also understand the many opportunities to save.

I want to put a link on my website to the ballot at ElectionsOnline. What is the address?

This question is best answered at 3 Tips for Linking to the Ballot.

I added a couple voters after the start of the election. Will they receive an email notice to vote?

Simply adding a voter to the roster will not trigger an email to that particular voter right at that moment. However, if you configured your election so that ElectionsOnline sends emails to voters, any voter, regardless of how or when they were entered into the system, will receive an email reminder to vote on the date that reminder is scheduled, assuming they have not already voted.

There was a bad email address on record for a voter. I changed it, but will they receive an email notice to vote?

Changing a voter’s email address will not trigger an email to that particular voter right at that moment. However, if you configured your election so that ElectionsOnline emails voters, they will receive the notice on that date, assuming they have not already voted.

When ElectionsOnline emails voters, what address is the email sent from?

ElectionsOnline’s software offers the ability to send up to three emails to voters during the course of an election. That email is sent from vote@electionsonline.com. When taking advantage of this email feature, it is a very good idea for you to instruct your voters to whitelist email coming from that address to ensure it gets past any spam filters and reaches the voter’s inbox. See more about Email Delivery Best Practices.

Not all our voters will want, or be able to vote electronically. How are these voters accommodated?

ElectionsOnline’s Evote service has the ability to generate a printer-friendly PDF document of the ballot which you may distribute to any voter. For details about generating and accepting paper ballots, see the Evote User Guide.

A voter says they did not receive an email to vote. How can this person be permitted to access the ballot?

First make sure the person’s included in the voter roster. Do this by logging into My Account and doing a voter lookup. If they aren’t included in the voter roster, add them, and inform them to visit the ballot at https://www.electionsonline.com/vote where they may retrieve their login data and login to the ballot.

If they are already included in the voter roster and have a valid email address on record, they may wish to check their spam folder for any emails about the election. If there’s nothing there, you may simply instruct them to visit the ballot at https://www.electionsonline.com/vote where they may either retrieve their login data by submitting their email address, or you may wish to provide their login data to them if you’re able.

How do voters access the ballot?

If hosting the election on the ElectionsOnline website as opposed to your own website, each voter will need a username and password in order to access the ballot. If you already have this data for your voters and wish to include it when submitting the voter roster, you may. Otherwise, ElectionsOnline will generate a username and password for each voter that will be good only for a single election.

Is it possible to determine how a voter voted?

No. The de facto standard for conducting elections throughout the world is secret balloting which disassociates a voter from their ballot. ElectionsOnline ensures secret balloting, but beware, not all systems do, so you should always verify with any election provider that their system is built around this principle before retaining their services. To demonstrate this in plain English the logic which procesess when a ballot is cast is:

START TRANSACTION

  1. Insert ballot into the system only when the voter has not previously voted.
  2. Flag the voter as having voted.

END TRANSACTION

The special keywords start transaction and end transaction instruct the database that all the processing between them should either be fully committed, or fully rolled back. Because this is a two-step transaction, there must be a safeguard in place that prevents either step from being committed to the database without the other step also being committed. Excplicitly instructing the database that these two steps are part of a single transaction guarantees that a ballot cannot be inserted (step 1) without the voter also being flagged as having voting (step 2) as that would create a condition where the voter could conceivably log in to the system again and insert a second ballot.

Lastly, when ballots are inserted into the database, there is no part of that ballot that could be used to associate it to a voter. Ballots are added to an electronic ballot box and a voter's record is updated to mark them as having voted. The two are not tied together in any way thereby ensuring secret balloting.

How is a voter prevented from double-voting?

Each voter must log in with a username and password. Once that voter has voted, he is precluded from voting again. If the client doesn’t provide a username and password with their voter roster, it will be generated for them by ElectionsOnline.

Once a voter has cast a ballot, may he log back in and change his vote?

No. Voting with Evote is identical to any other election in that once a person has voted, their vote is final.

Can ElectionsOnline handle paper ballots?

ElectionsOnline will not print, mail and tabulate paper ballot for clients, but the software does provide the ability to retrieve a paper ballot on demand for a specific voter. Details on handling the paper ballot procedure are in the Evote Instruction Manual.

Can the ballot display different positions to different voters?

Using voter groups, special interest groups or a combination of the two, an election may be configured to display to a voter only the positions that voter is eligible to vote for. In fact, Evote with its dual options of voter groups and special interest groups, is the most powerful and flexible system available for displaying and reporting on various ballot configurations. More information is available at Voter Groups Versus Special Interest Groups.

Is the system mobile-friendly?

Yes. Employing responsive design, the ballot displays well on all devices.

Can we provide our voters with a single sign-on experience at our own website?

Yes, ElectionsOnline leads the industry with its ability to integrate into other systems and there are a couple approaches that can be used to provide SSO.
  • Passed authentication where a voter logs in to a client’s website and is then passed over to the ballot which is hosted on the ElectionsOnline website. Their logged in state is preserved and they are not prompted to login a second time at ElectionsOnline.
  • Fully integrated where the ballot is consumed into a client’s website using web services so that it appears to be a native part of the client’s website with full control to modify the styling of the ballot.

Can the system handle voting for things like referendums as well as people?

Yes, see the sample ballot on the ElectionsOnline website. The system has a special feature (Position Descriptions) that works particularly well for describing the details of things like referendums, bylaw changes and other things of that matter.