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Accommodating Voters Without Email Addresses
Accommodating Voters Without Email Addresses

How to send notice to voters without an email or SMS

ChinosoN avatar
Written by ChinosoN
Updated over a week ago

Depending on the specifics of your vote, there are better ways to handle a non-technical voting population than others, so we have multiple ways you can do this!

Please note that all roads lead back to - someone will have to get the voter's choices into ElectionBuddy for result tabulation.

We have ways of allowing for a representative from the organization to cast a vote on a paper-based voter's behalf. Each of your voters has a unique access key assigned to them that the organization can surface and enter into The key assigns the vote to that voter, so using the voter's key on their behalf will assign the vote to them. For instructions on surfacing an access key, please refer to our related article on Surfacing an Access Key.


The paper-based group of voters is usually a small subset of your voting population. The rest of your membership is likely going to receive their notice to vote via an electronic method (email or SMS). First, your vote must be set up to facilitate both of these groups of voters.

  • On the "Notice" stage of your vote setup, choose whatever electronic notice type you want to use for your electronic-based voters, and then also select "Create Notices Yourself". Additionally, you could also choose "Printed Notices". You can even include a paper ballot for them.

  • Proceed to the "Voters" stage of your vote setup. When inputting your voter list, you will need to provide a Ballot ID for each voter. This includes your non-electronic voters.

  • Only include contact information (either an email address, cellphone number, or mailing address) for the voters who will be receiving an electronic notice to vote. The contact information should be blank for the voters who will not be receiving an electronic notice to vote.

  • When your vote is live, you will have the ability to download access keys for voters without contact information. If you download all voters' access keys, you will not be able to modify any contact information for those voters with contact information.

  • Distribute the access keys to your paper-based voters as you see fit; or, hold onto the list of keys, and move onto the "Voting" section below.


Once you have your vote running, there are several ways you can assist your paper-based voters in casting their vote:

  • Create a paper ballot for them and mail it to them: you can create a paper ballot by including a paper ballot in the printed notice, using a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word, or by printing out the web page of the electronic ballot. Ask the voter to fill out the ballot, and then have them mail it back to you. Follow these steps to submit the ballot: Obtain the voter's access key. Input the key at Fill out the ballot identical to how the paper ballot was filled out. Verify that you've chosen the right candidates/options as per your voter's paper ballot, and submit.

  • Work with voters to cast their vote via phone: If you have available staff, you can allow voters to call your organization. A representative reviews the ballot with them over the phone and enters choices on behalf of the voters into using the voters' access key. This method would also work if you wanted to communicate with your voters via mail.

    • The representative will need to ask for something to identify the voter in the voter list (this would be based on how your vote has been set up) in order to find them to surface their specific key. Alternatively, if the voter has been left off the list and manual access keys have been included in the vote, the representative can find any available manual key and surface it to assign it to that voter.

    • The representative takes that key and inputs it into

    • This opens up the ballot. The representative then walks the voter through the ballot and records their choices on the ballot.

    • The representative will need to verify the ballot in the same way that the voter would if they were submitting their vote themselves by reviewing the voter's choices with them.

    • Once the voter is sure of their choices, the representative can submit the ballot.

  • Offer on-site options: If your voters are in a community or a residence, or live by your offices, you can set up a polling station. This polling station can be handled in two ways: You can provide voters with a paper ballot and have the choices entered into ElectionBuddy by a representative of your organization on or you can set up a tablet/iPad or computer and use ElectionBuddy's Kiosk Mode for simple electronic, in-person voting, with your staff on-hand to assist them with the electronic device as needed.

For any questions, please send us a chat using our Buddy Messenger in the bottom right of the screen.

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