Running an Election with the "Scored" Voting Method
This voting method is called "Scored" in ElectionBuddy, but this voting method is multi-faceted: it can be used to run an actual election (where a winner is elected), and can also be used to create a survey-style (i.e. a rating scale) question.
Below, we will explore how to create an election with the "Scored" voting method.
On the "Ballot" page of your election setup:
- Create a new ballot question using the "+ Add position or question" button.
- Choose "Start with a blank question" on the window that pops up.
- Give the question a title by clicking into the title and deleting/typing text.
- In the section of the ballot question immediately below the title, change the voting method to "Scored".
- In the section below that, choose whether voters are voting on "Candidates", "Options", or "Other" (if you choose "Other", you will need to provide text for what the "Other" is).
- Add your candidates or options. Click the "+ Add Candidate" button to add more candidate/option fields.
- The following sections are unique to the Scored voting method:
First, you must create a range that your voters will be scoring on. In the above example, we are using a range of 1 to 5, but you can use any range. Only whole numbers will be accepted. Negative numbers can be used for your range. The range must go from smallest to largest.
Negative numbers can be used to create simple manual tallying of the results. For example, if using a scale of -1 to 1, where -1 is "No", 0 is "Don't know", and 1 is "Yes", the scores sum themselves. Any "No" scores take a point away from the candidate, "Don't know"s neither add a point nor take a point away from the candidate, and "Yes" scores will add a point to the candidate.
Second, you must decide whether you want a winner to be decided by ElectionBuddy. For Scored voting in an election, choose "Yes — from average score for each option". The winner will be decided by average scores; see the "Results" section below for more details.
Optional setup: Advanced Settings
The "Advanced Settings" link will open up a window where you can create labels for each score in your range. You can also change the order in which the scores display to your voters in the drop-down list while voting using the "Label Presentation Order" setting. For example, with the setting set to "Ascending", as it is in the screenshot above, the options will be listed in an ascending order while voting:
If you change the setting to "Descending", the list would be ordered from 5 to 1 (the reverse of the above) instead.
- Add any further settings to the ballot (i.e. abstains, ask for comments, or random ordering), and add any additional voter instructions that you may want.
- Finish setting up any further items on your ballot, and proceed with setting up the rest of your election as normal.
Voters simply assign a score to each candidate/option on the ballot by selecting the score from a drop-down list.
- All candidates/options must be scored (none can be left without a score).
- The same score can be assigned to multiple candidates/options.
- There is an "Assign to all" option that the voters can use:
Using the top-most drop-down list, the voters can automatically assign the same score to all the candidates/options on the ballot.
As promised, the Scored voting method with a winner selected causes ElectionBuddy to choose a winner. This winner is decided by running an algorithm that takes the average of each candidate's total score by dividing the candidate's total score by the number of ballots submitted. In this case, our winner is Susan Roberts, with a total score of 19 and an average score of 3.8 (19/5 = 3.8):
For each candidate, the total sum of all scores is shown in bold, the average score is shown greyed out and in parentheses, and clicking on the green "i" brings up a window that shows that candidate's total vote breakdown:
Taking a download of the results will provide you with everything for each candidate: the total score, the average score, and the score breakdown.
The Graphed Results for the Scored voting method are unique in that they are displayed in a bar graph, vs. the usual pie graph. When a winner is selected, the bar graph only displays the average scores on the graph:
Scores of "NA" are not included in the Total Score and Average Score for each option. So, for example, if two voters scored an option as a "2", and one voter scored the same option as an "NA", the Total Score would be 4 (2+2), and the Average Score would be 2 (Total Score of 4/2 voters). In the Vote Breakdown, ElectionBuddy simply tallies up the total number of "NA" scores. This provides visibility about the "NA" scores still being counted, and allows you to verify that they are not impacting your Total and Average Scores.