Monday, July 1, 2019

Weighted code voters now available

At OpaVote online voting, we already had code voters and weighted voters, but now we have weighted code voters! This feature will be especially useful for HOA and condo elections where a voter's weight corresponds to the size of his or her share of the common condominium expenses.

I'll first review code voters and weighted voters, and I'll then explain how to put the two together.

Code Voters

OpaVote currently has two types of voters: email voters and code voters. For email voters, the election manager uploads a list of email addresses, and OpaVote sends each voter an email with a special voting link to allow that person to vote.

Code voters work differently. The election manager inputs only the number of code voters. OpaVote then provides the election manager with a list of secret voting codes. It is the job of the election manager to distribute the codes to the voters. The code voters then go to the voting page and enter their code so that they can access their ballot.

Code voters are useful when you don't have an email address for a voter, when two voters share an email address, or if you want to run an onsite election with a voting booth.

Weighted Voters

With weighted voters, some voter's votes count more than others. It sounds undemocratic, and this wouldn't be used for most government elections, but it is useful for some elections, such as HOA and condo elections.

A voter with a weight of 2 will have her vote counted twice. It is the same as if the voter actually voted twice. If someone has a weight of 5, it is as if that person voted 5 times. OpaVote currently allows whole number weights up to 1,000,000.

NEW: Weighted Code Voters

Weighted code voters work the same as weighted email voters, but the way the manager specifies the weights is a little different.

With weighted email voters, the election manager uploads a list of email addresses, and this list can include a weight for each email. With weighted code voters, the election manager just uploads a list of weights, and OpaVote creates a code voter (and corresponding code) for each weight on the list.

If you later increase the number of code voters (without specifying weights), then OpaVote will assign the newly added code voters a weight of 1. If you later decrease the number of code voters, OpaVote will take code voters off the end of your code voter list (i.e., the most recently added code voters), but the weights will otherwise stay the same.

Here is a little trick if most of your voters have a weight of 1. Suppose you have 1000 voters where 5 voters have a weight of 10 and all other voters have a weight of 1. You can upload the following list of weights to create the first 5 weighted code voters:


You have 5 code voters so far. Then, simply increase the total number of code voters to 1000, and OpaVote will add 995 voters, each with a weight of 1.

If you are running an election for an HOA or condo association, then we have a page that explains how to convert the condo shares to weights for use with OpaVote.