When you create the ballot papers for your online election, you have a choice of the following types:
- Electing candidates and voting
- Closed list elections
- Other election types
Each type of ballot paper has optional settings that help to reflect the election rules. This includes the settings for the number of votes, for spoiled votes, or for the format of the ballot paper. In this guideline we explain list elections.
Rules for list elections
In your online voting, click on the “Election rules” tab under the “Ballot papers” tab and select the “Closed list election”.
Below this you see “Total votes”, where you enter the total number of votes that may be given to all of the lists on the ballot. If you enter a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3, eligible voters can cast one, two or three votes across the whole ballot paper. If they decide not to cast any votes, the ballot will be counted as invalid.
Below this you see the “Advanced options” as follows:
- Allow invalid ballot = If you enable this option, the ballot paper contains a checkbox that they can use to mark their ballot paper as spoiled.
- Allow too many votes to be cast = With this option enabled, it would be possible to assign four votes in our example above. However, the ballot would be deemed invalid. If you disable this option, it is no longer possible to cast too many votes. In this case, voters will be advised that they have cast too many votes and will be asked to correct their selection.
- Allow too few votes to be cast = With this feature enabled, too few votes can be cast. In terms of our example above, it would be possible not to cast any votes at all and thus make the ballot paper invalid. If you disable this option, it is no longer possible to cast too few votes. In this case, voters will be advised that they have cast too few votes and will be asked to correct their selection.
- Allow / Do not allow abstention = If you activate this setting, a checkbox appears on the ballot paper that allows voters to explicitly abstain from voting.
- Casting votes on a single list is enabled/disabled = If you activate this option, voters can cast their votes on one list only. If there are several lists to choose from, they have to decide which list they will give all their votes to.
- Do not show available votes = By activating this option, a counter appears on the ballot paper that shows voters how many votes they still have to cast.
Once you have made your selection, go to the list settings. You can find these in two places in the POLYAS Online Voting Manager:
- In the “Ballot paper” tab, click on the gear-wheel icon in the top left-hand corner of your list and select “Settings”.
- Go to the “List overview” tab, select the list for which settings should be modified and click the gear-wheel icon next to the list name.
Note: If you have multiple ballot papers, note which one you selected in the overview on the left.
Make your list settings
The list settings are used to set the format of the ballot paper:
- Number of rows
- Number of columns
- Show/hide header
- Show/hide column headings
Several columns are useful if further information about the candidate should be provided – surname, first name and personnel number, for example.
Below this you will find the election rules. You can determine how many “votes per list” may be cast.
This refers to the votes that can be cast for the list in the list header. The maximum value sets the number of checkboxes in the list header. If a maximum of five votes are allowed, there are five checkboxes in the list header.
Caution: If the minimum value is greater than zero, a vote is invalid if no votes are cast for the list.
If there are several lists, a different number can be specified for each list.
An example: You have two lists to choose from and a minimum of 0 and a maximum of 3 votes per list. Then this means that your voters are allowed to cast none, one, two or three votes on both lists. You can now see three checkboxes in the list headers. If the “Total votes” are set to five votes at once, a maximum of three votes can be given to list A and the remaining two votes to list B.
Optionally, you can check the box next to “Settings apply to all the lists on this ballot paper”, which conveniently configures all of the lists in the same way.
If you are happy with your settings, click on “Save”.
POLYAS tip: You can add further lists, columns and rows to your list election using the gear-wheel icon in the list header, or via the carrot menu that is accessed using the down arrow at the end of each line.