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Submitting Paper Ballots

Entering a Ballot When Using Printed Ballots

WayneW avatar
Written by WayneW
Updated over a week ago

Some voters prefer to vote using a paper ballot if the option is available. With ElectionBuddy, you can log their vote in a few simple steps:

  • Select the name of your running election with paper ballots. It will bring you to the Results Page.

  • Locate the Actions menu in the top-right of the page.

  • From the drop-down list that appears, choose Paper Ballot Entry:

  • You will see something like the screen in the example below (the exact fields will vary based on the build of your ballot)

Entering the Ballot

Enter the Reference Number for the ballot you are working on within the first box (labeled "1" and has the gray text that says "Ref"). The Reference Number will be on the top right concern of the printed ballot.

  • Enter the number corresponding to the voters' choices in the entry fields as it appears on the ballot. The number is located to the left of the voter's choice.

  • If your vote allows Write-ins, enter the name in the furthest right-hand field exactly as it appears on the printed ballot.

    For example, if the question asks you to choose two vacancies, three boxes are on the paper ballot, and you have a write-in for that question, enter the Write-in, in the third box.

  • You can click your way to each new box or hit the "Enter" or "Tab" key on your keyboard after filling out each box to move to the next one.

  • Hitting "Enter" in the last box of the entry field will open up a new field to allow you to enter another ballot.

  • If you accidentally create a field after filling out a field for your last ballot, you cannot save and validate your batch without closing the blank field. To do so, click the [X] in the top-right corner of the extra blank entry field.

  • When you are ready to submit your batch, click on "Save and Validate your Batch."

Ballot Entry Validation Errors

If you try to submit a batch with ballot fields not filled out appropriately, the batch will not save. We recommend entering a maximum of ten at a time as it helps make things more manageable when you find and correct the errors.

If a validation error is returned to you, read the error message and evaluate carefully. The error messages will appear on the specific ballot that is incorrectly entered and appear in order of the errors. So, for example, if you had two questions on your ballot and two returned with validation errors, the first error message would relate to the first question, and the second error message would relate to the subsequent question.

Your first step should be to review the ballot choices you've entered to ensure you haven't made an entry mistake.

If you confirm that you've entered the voter's ballot choices exactly as they appear on the paper ballot but are still receiving a validation error, it is up to your organization to decide how they would like to handle that ballot, as that ballot will not be able to be submitted.

We strongly recommend that you spoil the ballot, causing a validation error because it is incomplete.

Spoiling ballots that have been filled out improperly is a standard protocol in many federal/provincial/municipal government elections and is common throughout non-government election protocols.

On any ballot entry fields with failed validations, the "Spoil Ballot" option appears in the top-right corner, right next to the [X]. Click that button to spoil the ballot.

Attempting to rectify the voter's ballot to get it to submit can be a massive compromise to your election integrity, as you would attempt to infer what the voter meant by their ballot choices. You would be fraudulently entering a vote on their behalf. This can jeopardize your entire election, so we do not recommend it.

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

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