Importing Your Voter List as a CSV File
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.
How to Import Your CSV
- Download the CSV template for your voter list. It gives you the exact headings you need. We notice that a lot of people don't use this, but we passionately recommend using it.
- Open the CSV template in Excel, and paste your data (voter information) under each of the headers.
- Save the CSV template. Make sure it is still in a CSV file format; this upload does NOT work with an Excel workbook file.
- Go back to Electionbuddy, and on the "Voters" page of your election setup (with "Import a CSV file" checked off like it is above), click on the "Choose File" button. It is just below the yellow banner pictured above.
- Choose your CSV for upload, and after you've chosen the CSV, click the "Import" button, just below the "Choose File" button.
- Give it a few minutes, especially if your voter list is quite large. You know it has worked if the voter list appears with all your voter information inserted in it
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.
- 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.