Evote, Online Voting System
Security and Reliability
Encrypted connections are in place as well as adherence to the OWASP Top Ten List (for defense against web application vulnerabilities); the SANS Top 20 Internet Security Vulnerabilities reference and much more. ElectionsOnline’s web site is scanned regularly for:
- PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance by an ASV (Approved Scanning Vendor) to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities.
- site availability by SiteUptime. See live statistics about site uptime.
- a redundant power supply capable of lasting indefinitely.
- a rapid fire suppression system.
- 24/7 network monitoring to ensure immediate action is taken should a problem arise.
- 24/7 building security utilizing biometric scanners to authenticate individuals entering the facility.
Social media integration
Pioneered by ElectionsOnline, the ballot and any associated emails integrate with social media tools such as email, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ as a way of permitting voters to encourage fellow voters to also vote, increasing voter participation.
Single Sign On, Website Integration
The ballot software permits integration into your own web site to have the look and feel of your site. This also permits voters to access the ballot by logging into your site, something they may already be accustomed to doing, and not having to visit a third party’s website to vote. For a full explanation see the Evote API Documentation.
Evote generates ballots that display well on all desktop computers plus the many varieties of mobile devices and tablets in common use so voters may comfortably vote from anywhere at any time using the device of their choice.
Saved Ballot Templates
Saved Ballot Templates means that once your election is set up, you may save the configuration for reuse in future elections. This simplifies the setup process and means the only thing that needs to be done for future ballot setup is to provide the names of the candidates and the election dates.
Ballot Shuffling outputs the candidates’ names in random order on each request of the ballot. This eliminates the concern that the candidate whose name appears first in the list has an advantage.
Shuffling may be enabled on some positions and not others.
You may attach candidate biographical information to the ballot so it is available by clicking the candidate’s name. These biographies may also include a photograph of the candidate. For an example, see this site’s Sample Ballot which includes candidate biographies with photos.
Candidate Biography Self-Service
To remove the burden on the election administrator from having to submit candidate biographical material into the system, you may permit the candidates to submit their own materials. This feature supports the ability to designate a deadline by which this must be completed after which the candidates will not be able to make any further changes. This permits you to approve their biographies and ensure it does not get modified after approval.
You may display more than just positions contested by humans on the ballot. You may also include a referendum which voters may either accept or reject, and show a description of the referendum on the ballot so voters will clearly understand what they’re voting on.
Gives the voter the ability to write-in a candidate’s name of their own choosing.
Voter groups display different positions based on voter profile. For example, you may have both professional and student members in your voter pool. Professional members need to see a certain set of positions, while students see another. Voter groups detect which positions each voter should see at the moment that voter logs in to vote and responds accordingly. Voter groups, in combination with special interest groups, affords unequaled flexibility in ballot configuration.
Send a request to the ballot counter to acquire a real-time count of the number of ballots cast in an election. Incorporate that count into your own website to take advantag of the concept of social proof, as described at Social Proof to Increase Voter Turnout, to increase participation.
Special Interest Groups
Some organizations have special interest groups (SIGs) which voters may join in addition to belonging to the organization itself. These SIGs may conduct their own election in addition to the larger organization-wide election and using the ElectionsOnline SIG tool permits configuring a ballot to show only SIG positions to voters that should see them. SIGs, in combination with voter groups, affords unequaled flexibility in ballot configuration.
Ballot weighting allows some ballots to carry more weight than others. For example, you may have a voter who casts a single ballot, but that ballot has a “weight” of ten. In this case, when the election results are generated, that ballot will be counted as if ten identical ballots had been cast by this voter.
The default weight for ballots is one, but you may specify any number as the ballot weight for any voter.
On-demand Paper Ballots
On-demand paper ballots permit you to print out a paper ballot for any voter requesting to vote by paper. On-demand paper ballots are specific to a particular voter and display only the appropriate positions that voter should see exactly as if they accessed the web-based ballot.
Specify up to three languages to be displayed on your voting pages and the order in which they display. Current choices are English, Spanish, French (Canadian), Portuguese (Brazilian), German, Italian, and Simple Chinese.
High-Delivery Email Reminders
In setting up your election, you may specify for ElectionsOnline to send an email announcement at the start of the election, plus as many as two reminders during the election to voters who’ve not voted. Because the voting software integrates behind the scenes with SocketLabs—the industry-leader in email delivery—the emails achieve the highest possible chance of landing in the voter’s inbox.
Voters can be provided the option to submit free-text comments along with their ballot. While disabled by default, comment fields may be associated with certain positions and left disabled for others. Or enabled for all positions. While you may enable comments with any position, this is particularly useful for referendums when you wish to glean some insight into how a voter feels about voting a certain way.
When the ElectionsOnline system sends emails to voters, a report detailing any undelivered emails is available to the election administrator following the mailing. This aids in removing any invalid email addresses from your own system which can help protect your reputation as an email sender and improve deliverability in the future.
With Email Solicitation enabled, the voting system checks to see if the voter has an email address on record with your organization at the moment a voter logs in. If so, that voter is directed straight to the ballot. If no email address is on record, the voter is asked to provide one. They may do so, or they may bypass providing their email address and go straight to the ballot. When a voter provides an email address, Evote saves it so that an email confirmation may be sent to that voter upon casting a ballot, but also sends an email to a designee within your organization containing the necessary information so the voter’s record in your database may be updated with the newly-acquired email address.
Ballot Previewing gives you the opportunity to try it out and see the results prior to the start of the actual election just so you’ll be absolutely certain everything is in order. Once testing is over, the system is recalibrated so no voter is flagged as having voted and no ballots are in your ballot box.
Related Group Accounts
Evote makes it possible to create a single client account with unlimited sub-accounts associated with it. This is ideal for large organizations with many smaller chapters who need to split election administration up among multiple individuals.
The election results informs you of much more than just who won each race. Visit this site's Sample Election Results page to see a sample results page. Additionally, for elections taking advantage of voter groups and/or special interest groups (SIGs), the results may be further filtered to display only voting activity from any of those subgroups of voters.
You have the option to publish election results directly on the ElectionsOnline web site for all your voters and candidates to see. This saves you the time of having to publish the results yourself but also instills confidence in your electorate when they see the results published by the independent election company providing the service.
ElectionsOnline archives your election results from for up to 10 years to simplify doing a year-to-year comparison.
The easily customizable election widget can be placed on any web page to promote your live elections and create a link straight to the ballot login page. A demo and full details on using it are discussed at the blog post, Using the Election Widget.