Ballot needs to know how many persons will respond to each question in order to accurately calculate results, confirm when all votes are received etc. It is therefore necessary to count voters before any voting. The Count Voters process can be performed automatically during the first vote, but is typically performed “manually” as part of a process of familiarizing participants with the use of the keypads. The number of voters can be adjusted during a meeting if people arrive later or need to leave part way through.
Counting voters is required whether actually using the voting equipment or running a simulated voter session. The automatic counting of voters on the first question works does not work with simulated voters.
“Regular” Live Count Voters Process - Step by Step
- Go to Vote & Report > Voting > Count Voters.
If already on the voting screen, go to Tools drop-down > Count Voters.
- If the file has been voted on before, you are asked whether you wish to “recover” the existing voters. This is useful in circumstances such as wishing to resume a meeting with the same participants after an extended break, such as meal time, when it may have been necessary to power off the computer. Stakeholder group membership information is retained if the existing voters are recovered.
- If you reject the current voters, you will be asked to confirm that you wish to continue counting new voters. Press OK to count new voters. The count voters screen appears.
- The facilitator clicks Start and asks all participants to press the 7 key on their keypad. Web Voters will be counted automatically.
- When the facilitator believes all keypads have been registered, he/she clicks Stop to stop accepting new keypad registrations.
In some cases, Ballot will report that some participants pressed a number other than 7. The only purpose of this is to ensure all participants know how to use their keypads correctly. Each keypad will be registered regardless of which key is pressed. Many facilitators use this stage as an “ice breaker”, as participants will naturally want to know who of their peers was unwilling or unable to press the 7 key. Press Close to exit count voters.