Election Setup — A Brief Overview

Welcome to ElectionBuddy! We try to make ElectionBuddy easy for you to use, and easy for you to learn how to use, by letting you do test elections until you're heart's content - we don't charge you a penny! These test elections allow you to test all of the ElectionBuddy features. You can allow up to five voters in your voter list for a test election.

If you have never used ElectionBuddy before, we recommend that you experiment with a test election before you spend the money on your real election! If you make a mistake in your real election setup and need us to fix it, there are additional charges. Why would you risk having to waste money when you could just run test elections to make sure you've got it right for free?

After you have created an account with ElectionBuddy, you'll open up to a page very similar to the one below:

Click the orange text that says "free test election" to get started on building your test election!

The 5 Setup Steps

There are five steps or stages to creating an election:

1. Details    
  • This is where you enter the main details for your election, such as the name of the election, and start and end dates. 
  • You can also adjust some security settings related to who can view the results of the election. 
2. Ballot
  • Enter the positions/questions that are going to appear on your ballot, including choosing the tally type (i.e. the things your voters will be voting on). as well as candidate profiles and photos.  
  • You can also define the order of  positions , and order of choices/candidates per question (you can also randomize the order), by moving the positions and candidates around after you have created them (JavaScript is required in order to do this).
  • You can also allow voters to abstain from voting, allow for write-ins, and capture comments (depending on the type of election you're running, of course).
3. Notice    
  • Specify the notification methods you would like to use to notify your voters to vote: email, SMS (text), post (mail), printed notices (that you distribute yourself), or manual access keys that you distribute. 
  • You can also use a combination of these methods (i.e. a multi-channel election).
  • Customize the email, SMS, postal, and/or printed notice template, if you want - or stick to the default text.
4. Voters
  • This is where you input your voter list. 
  • You can copy and paste these details from a spreadsheet or Excel.  
  • You can import your voter list from Excel or a spreadsheet as well, as long as the information is arranged in the same order that the Electionbuddy voter list presents it to you.
  • If you're working with a small voter list, you can choose to type it in manually.
  • You can also import a voter list that you used in a previous election. 
5. Review    
  • Test the ballot to see how your voters will see it and use it, check the notice, review the voter list, finalize the elections details, and agree to the terms and conditions.  
  • You will also ensure you have planned for new voters that may join your organization during the election.

After these five steps, you may have one thing left to do: pay!

  • Pay by Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. After you have paid, your election will start, or sit in a "Ready to Run" stage if your election's start time is in the future.  
  • Voters will be notified automatically as soon as the election starts, and results will be automatically tallied.
  • Please note that test elections and elections with under 20 voters are at no charge. 
    • 20-voter elections are limited as to the features that can be used in order for it to qualify as free. 
    • Visit our pricing page to find out if your election will require this final step.
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