An Explanation on Access Keys, and How to Receive One

An access key is either:

  • a 16-character alpha-numeric key, randomly generated and issued by  Electionbuddy, or
  • a unique credential for a voter that is created and issued by the election administrator.

A single key is assigned  to each specific voter, and so each key is unique to each voter. The keys are also single-use, so they ensure that a voter can only vote once. Electionbuddy offers five methods for how the keys can be distributed:

  • Email:
    • Electionbuddy distributes emails to voters .
    • If the access key is generated by Electionbuddy, the email contains a unique ballot link (the link to access the ballot with the key already embedded in the link). 
    • If the access key is generated by the administrator, the email contains an access link (the link to access a page to enter voter credentials) and the voter's access key.
  • SMS:
    • Electionbuddy distributes texts voters.
    • If the access key is generated by Electionbuddy, the text message contains a unique ballot link (the link to access the ballot with the key already embedded in the link). 
    • If the access key is generated by the administrator, the text message contains an access link (the link to access a page to enter voter credentials) and the voter's access key.
  • Postal notices:
    • Electionbuddy distributes postcards to voters.
    • Each postcard contains an access link (the link to access a page to enter voter credentials) and the voter's access key.
    • The postcards can also optionally contain a unique QR code for voters to scan - each QR code contains the information regarding the voter's access key, and work the same way as a ballot link.
  • Manual:
    • Election administrators get a list of access keys from Electionbuddy, or have a self-created list of access keys and passwords, to distribute themselves to voters. 
    • If the access keys are generated by Electionbuddy, administrators can either create their own ballot links (https://app.electionbuddy.com/ballot/(ACCESSKEY), where "(ACCESSKEY)" corresponds to the voter's 16-digit access key), or simply send voters to https://app.electionbuddy.com/ballot to enter their key manually.
    • If the access keys are generated by the administrator, they share their voters' credentials, as well as the access link that they create in Electionbuddy, manually. 
  • Printed notices:
    • Election administrators can download and print a PDF of a notice to distribute themselves to voters .
    • Regardless of who creates the access keys, each notice contains an access link and the access key for each voter.
    • The notices can also optionally contain a unique QR code for voters to scan - each QR code contains the information regarding the voter's access key, and work the same way as a ballot link.


All methods of voting use access keys, regardless of who creates the key. 

How a voter receives their notice to vote (and consequently their access key) is up to the election administrator. If you are a voter and have not received your access key, please contact your election administrator.


NOTE: Electionbuddy is not at liberty to provide access keys on behalf of election administrators; if you contact  Electionbuddy regarding your access key , we will forward your request to the election administrator. The fastest way to receive your access key is to contact the election administrator directly, so that way we do not have to redirect you to them. (: 

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