Adding Your Voter List to Electionbuddy
You can copy and paste directly from Microsoft Excel or any other spreadsheet program, like Google Sheets, or Numbers on your Macintosh or iPad. We do not recommend using the CSV import tool if your voter list is under 5000 voters - the CSV import requires your voter information (i.e. your data) to meet an exact set of requirements in order to be uploaded, and will simply reject your CSV if your data does not abide by these exact requirements. For most users, copying and pasting using keyboard shortcuts will always be easier.
The Electionbuddy Voter List Input Table
Excel is a great place to start if you don't have a system that has all your members' email addresses, cellphone numbers, or mailing address details; or you need to format them from a jumble of addresses to one per line. Enter or copy your voter list first into an excel document. Organize the data to follow the layout that Electionbuddy will ask for the information for:
These are all the possible columns that you can have in your voter list for a high-integrity election in Electionbuddy. The actual columns that you will have depends on the options you are utilizing in your election setup. For example, if you were only doing SMS (text message) notices with ballot IDs, the table that Electionbuddy would present to you would have two columns: "ID" and "SMS Phone". They would appear in that order, as they do in the above image. So, when preparing your voter list to put into Electionbuddy, ensure that the information you are trying to put in is organized appropriately.
In a medium-integrity election, the column, "ID" is replaced with "Key" - corresponding to the administrator-created access key for that voter.
Copying and Pasting Your Voter List from Excel
Here is the specific, step-by-step process for transferring your list from Excel to Electionbuddy:
- Ensure that your Excel data is in the order as identified in Electionbuddy.
- Select all your data, making sure to avoid selecting any column headings (usually the first row in your list).
- Copy the cells that you have selected in Excel.
- Open E
lectionbuddy,and in the voter list field, paste the copied list (click on the first box in the list and simultaneously press "CTRL" + "V" on a Windows, or "CMND" + "V" on a Mac). You cannot use the right-click menu to paste your data into the table.
- Click outside the field to review your list. You can then scroll through the list to review for any errors. If you have errors, and your list is very large, it will probably be easier to edit your Excel list and copy and paste a second time, as opposed to fixing directly in the field, but you can edit your voter list directly in Electionbuddy as well.
There are some things to keep in mind with the formatting and organizing of your Excel list:
- Ensure that there is only one email or cell phone number per box/line.
- Ensure that your voter list column names are arranged as per Electionbuddy's voter list columns.
- Remove all the spaces in any email addresses or cell phone numbers.
- Some special characters, such as "," and "&", can sometimes cause issues, so tread lightly with, them if possible.
Importing Your Voter List as a CSV File
If you are up to try something new and want to give the CSV upload a whirl, here is what you will need to do to ensure that the list will upload:
- Your voter information headers must be exactly the way you see them presented in the above Electionbuddy table.
- That means if you're running an election with ballot IDs and email notices, your headers must be "ID" and "Email".
- The capitalizations must exactly match the Electionbuddy table.
- You cannot have any bad data.
- If you have email addresses that have incorrect formats, they may result in the CSV rejected, or they may be simply removed from your list.
- This means that you could unintentionally lose emails.
- You cannot have any extra data other than what is required by Electionbuddy.
- When looking at a CSV in Excel, it is easier to spot if you have any content in random cells.
- If you have any data in the Excel sheet that does not fall under a header, then Electionbuddy will think that a header is missing and will reject your CSV.
- You must ensure that you have no non-printable characters.
- A non-printable character is a hidden character that you can't see. They are commonly applied in word-processing programs, often without your knowledge, and are used for formatting. These are bad for your CSV.
- Excel has a specific function to remove non-printable characters. It is calld the =CLEAN() function, and you can use this to clean up your CSV. For more on how to use this function, please see Microsoft's help article on the CLEAN function.
The mailing addresses have very specific formatting around them, including required/optional fields and specific character limits.
Please see Formatting Tips for Entering a Voter's Mailing Address in Electionbuddy for more details on mailing addresses.