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FAQs2019-07-15T18:46:15+00:00

Election administration

What level of support can I expect?2019-07-15T18:42:57+00:00

High quality support is offered at no additional charge. It means we are confident most clients will have little difficulty in using the software. However we are very keen to hear by phone or email immediately should you need any help. We guide you through any hurdles. Our clients tell us they are very impressed with our high quality and prompt support. Currently we have US, UK and Australian support phone numbers. Shortly clients will have access to an online help chat room accessed from their BigPulse Poll Manager webpage.

Can we download the raw vote data and import it into a spreadsheet?2019-07-15T18:42:29+00:00

Yes. The data can be downloaded into a comma separated file.

How are voting accounts created?2019-07-15T18:41:46+00:00

Voting accounts can be created in four different ways:

  1. Generate voting accounts. With this authentication method the online voting accounts are generated before people are invited to vote. You can set the sign-in names and passwords and other personal details such as name and email address with a single simple block copy and paste from a spreadsheet or CSV file upload. Alternately, generate the sign-in names and passwords automatically with random characters. If emails are included the integrated bulk emailer can be used to send people vote invitations with auto sign-in links to your polls or poll menus with a tailored timeout. The emails are created in your usual email composer and can be configured to appear to come directly from you. This method is particularly easy for the voters – people just click the link in the email and the ballot opens in the browser signed in ready to vote.
  2. Link from your website. This method can be used to run secure online votes, ballots or polls, hosted independently on the BigPulse servers, without passing any personal details of your members to the BigPulse server. This method can be used if people have existing sign-in names and passwords used to access your website or another website. A seamless auto sign-in link to your polls is placed in the website. The voting accounts are created automatically as people click the poll link. It’s highly secure, only authorized people can vote and access is not dependent on email security. On repeat visits people are matched up to the same BigPulse voting account automatically.
  3. Remote authentication. This is another way to use existing sign-in names and passwords. With this method you invite people to sign in directly at the sign-in page of the online ballot using their existing sign-in details. You provide a special URL that BigPulse can access to authenticate the users’ sign-in details.
  4. Issue access PINs and invite people to register to vote. You can issue voting PINs and invite people to create their own sign-in name the first time they visit a poll. This method is particularly useful when people already have a personal ID number and none of the above methods are convenient. You simply block copy the PIN list into BigPulse and activate the register link in the poll.

Voter experience

What support is provided?2018-12-03T15:47:18+00:00

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How are voting accounts created?2019-07-15T18:41:46+00:00

Voting accounts can be created in four different ways:

  1. Generate voting accounts. With this authentication method the online voting accounts are generated before people are invited to vote. You can set the sign-in names and passwords and other personal details such as name and email address with a single simple block copy and paste from a spreadsheet or CSV file upload. Alternately, generate the sign-in names and passwords automatically with random characters. If emails are included the integrated bulk emailer can be used to send people vote invitations with auto sign-in links to your polls or poll menus with a tailored timeout. The emails are created in your usual email composer and can be configured to appear to come directly from you. This method is particularly easy for the voters – people just click the link in the email and the ballot opens in the browser signed in ready to vote.
  2. Link from your website. This method can be used to run secure online votes, ballots or polls, hosted independently on the BigPulse servers, without passing any personal details of your members to the BigPulse server. This method can be used if people have existing sign-in names and passwords used to access your website or another website. A seamless auto sign-in link to your polls is placed in the website. The voting accounts are created automatically as people click the poll link. It’s highly secure, only authorized people can vote and access is not dependent on email security. On repeat visits people are matched up to the same BigPulse voting account automatically.
  3. Remote authentication. This is another way to use existing sign-in names and passwords. With this method you invite people to sign in directly at the sign-in page of the online ballot using their existing sign-in details. You provide a special URL that BigPulse can access to authenticate the users’ sign-in details.
  4. Issue access PINs and invite people to register to vote. You can issue voting PINs and invite people to create their own sign-in name the first time they visit a poll. This method is particularly useful when people already have a personal ID number and none of the above methods are convenient. You simply block copy the PIN list into BigPulse and activate the register link in the poll.
What levels of anonymity and transparency are there?2019-07-01T18:41:05+00:00

Voting can be absolutely anonymous or fully transparent like a show of hands or various shades in between.

  1. Absolute anonymous vote storage – this means there is nothing in the database linking the vote to the voter.
  2. Anonymous voting – no one sees how each person votes however the votes are linked to the user voting accounts in the database which means the change vote feature can be used.
  3. Transparent voting – the poll administrators can see how each person votes.
  4. Fully transparent voting – everyone can see how each person votes – like a show of hands.
What counting methods are available?2019-07-01T18:50:34+00:00
  1. First-past-the-post, (FPTP) also known as plurality or simple majority voting. This means the candidate with the most votes wins.
  2. Instant runoff voting (IRV). See STV below.
  3. Single Transferable Vote (STV), preferential, ranked voting, proportional representation. Instant runoff is the special case of STV with one winner. STV is a form of preferential voting that produces proportional representation in multi-seat elections. Use optional or compulsory ranking of a set number of candidates. Preferences are transferred and distributed automatically to produce winners. Many switches to cater for variations in STV counting methods. BigPulse has extensive experience with STV.
  4. Range voting Voters rate each candidate or option separately on a scale.
  5. Cumulative votingEach voter has a quota of votes which can be concentrated on one candidate or split across several candidates. This method of voting is used widely in corporate governance. Ranked votes with predefined weights for each ranking. For example rank 1 = five points, 2 = three points 1= one point. Sum the points and lowest or highest score wins. You have complete flexibility to set the number of rankings permitted in the ballot and the weight for each ranking.
  6. Weighted voting and split votingShareholder AGM voting is common use for weighted votes. The same voter can have different weights in different polls enabling elections in many companies with overlapping shareholders. Split voting can be offered with weighted voting. This enables selected voters to act as proxy for other voters.
  7. Candidate grouping and winner constraints Candidates can also be grouped into categories and a minimum number of winners allocated to each category.
  8. D’Hondt method – This method is a highest averages method for allocating positions, and is thus a type of party-list proportional representation.
Do voters need to download an app?2019-07-01T18:59:34+00:00

No! BigPulse is a web-based system. Voters can access their ballots from any modern web browser on their smartphone, computer, or tablet.

How do voters participate in online voting?2019-07-01T19:07:13+00:00

Eligible voters receive an invitation-to-vote email with a unique one-click link that automatically logs them into the ballot – the voters simply click and vote. After they cast their vote, the voters receive a confirmation email with a unique vote receipt. See more about How It Works.

Are the servers operated by BigPulse?2019-07-01T19:18:32+00:00

Yes ….. see security doc..

What happens to personal data after an election2019-07-03T12:28:14+00:00

Typically voting accounts can have personal data attached or linked to them. This can include email addresses, names and depending on the chosen anonymity standard for the poll, votes submitted may also be linked to the voting accounts.

BigPulse has developed, over many years, a sophisticated protocol for managing the deletion of personal data. For example, personal data can be deleted from voting accounts when and as required while retaining the full vote history of each poll, de-linked from the voting accounts, and providing clients with a mechanism to verify deletion. Request our security document for more

What level of support can I expect?2019-07-15T18:42:57+00:00

High quality support is offered at no additional charge. It means we are confident most clients will have little difficulty in using the software. However we are very keen to hear by phone or email immediately should you need any help. We guide you through any hurdles. Our clients tell us they are very impressed with our high quality and prompt support. Currently we have US, UK and Australian support phone numbers. Shortly clients will have access to an online help chat room accessed from their BigPulse Poll Manager webpage.

Does the service come with standard template polls?2019-04-29T17:58:28+00:00

Yes, we provide a set of pre-configured polls. For example a template for basic surveys, another for interactive Opinion Markets and another for election or award polls. When opening a new poll you start by selecting the template. The configurations of the polls you create in that session are copied from the selected template but you can also change the configuration of any poll at any time. You can also make any of your own polls appear in the template list.

How many polls can we open?2019-07-01T19:16:50+00:00

With the Self-Managed Service you can have as many separate elections and polls as you want during your subscription, all for a fixed price.

With the Managed Service (where we take care of the election setup), you can have a single election with multiple polls. If you require more than this then we can accommodate your needs and will provide you with a fixed price quote.

Can we be sure only authorised people vote?2019-07-01T19:20:41+00:00

If you use the recommended high security setting each person votes with a personal sign-in name and password called a voting account. It means the vote integrity does not depend on cookies or the IP address of the voter. People can vote from anywhere yet, if they attempt to vote again in the same poll, even from a different location, the repeat vote is blocked.

However you can choose to let people vote repeatedly or a set number of times and still this will not corrupt the vote. This is because only the last vote from each person is counted in each poll. It means you can run continuous polls which can be relied upon.

Is it a multi-user licence so several people operate the system?2019-04-29T17:59:41+00:00

Yes, the multi-user license is standard. You can give selected people access to your Poll Manager webpage. This will enable them to act as poll administrators for you. You can also limit the access of selected poll administrators. For example you can prevent selected poll administrators from viewing the vote counts in any polls.

Can we download the raw vote data and import it into a spreadsheet?2019-07-15T18:42:29+00:00

Yes. The data can be downloaded into a comma separated file.

Will the software produce cross-tabulations?2019-04-29T18:00:32+00:00

Yes. You can create as many voter category filters as you wish and use as many divisions in each category as you wish. You can set the categories for the voters before inviting them to vote but the easiest method is to let the polls prompt people automatically to set their own category divisions before they vote. When you request a report of your poll results you can view the vote counts in a table showing the breakdown for each category division.

How do people register to vote?2019-07-01T12:23:15+00:00

If you use the low security polls people will not have to register at all – they can vote as soon as you give them the poll web address or as soon as you link the poll or poll menu to your website. However, if you use the recommended high security polls, each person has a unique sign-in name and password. These sign-in details can be created in various ways. The most popular method is to paste in a list of email addresses and generate a unique sign-in name and password for each email automatically then use the bulk emailer to send each person sign-in details. In fact if you use email addresses you can include automatic poll sign-in links in your emails which means you can use high security polls yet people do not need to remember or even know their personal sign-in name or password. Another method which is useful when you do not have a complete email list is to invite people to visit the poll and click a register link which prompts them to create their own sign-in name and password. In this case you may also issue an access PIN to ensure that only authorized people can vote. Another way is to just paste in a pre-generated list of sign-in names and passwords.

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