Submitting Paper Ballots

Some voters prefer voting using a paper ballot for various reasons such as Internet access, lack of a compatible device, or not being comfortable with technology. To accommodate that voter you can submit their ballots so they are included directly in the results.

When voters have returned their ElectionBuddy Paper Ballot printed from the vote, you can enter them easily in just a few steps.

Submitting a Paper Ballot

  • Select the vote, and this will bring you to the Results Page.
  • From the “Actions” menu, choose Paper Ballot Entry.


  • The "Paper Ballot Entry" area will show fields based on the Ballot you had set up. Below is an example of the Paper Ballot Entry Area.


Entering the Voter's Choices

Below is an example of a completed ballot from a voter:


The voter’s 8-digit Ref number is located at the top right of their ballot and entered in the Ref field:


When entered correctly, you will see a 4-digit access key confirmation:


Each Ballot question is identified by a letter, alphabetically, and the available ballot choices are numbered.

Enter the voter's choices for each ballot question in the respective fields.

  • In this example, Ballot questions A and B allow for 1 choice, so there’s a single field for each question to enter the voter choices.



If a vote allows Write-ins, type the write-in name in the long fields.

  • In this example, Ballot question C allowed up to 4 choices and write-ins enabled. The write-in fields are there to allow up to 4 write-ins on the ballot.



Entering Abstains

  • If a voter abstains on a ballot question, enter the number found beside “Absatain” in the field for that Ballot question.
  • Check your ballot to confirm the number for Abstain, as it can be different for each Ballot question.

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

  • You can click each new box or select the "Enter" or "Tab" key on your keyboard after filling out each box to move to the next one.
  • Selecting "Enter" in the last box of the entry field will allow you to enter another ballot before validating the batch
  • If you accidentally create a new ballot entry section, you’ll need to close it before validating as you can’t leave it blank. Click the [X] in the top-right corner of the extra blank entry field to close it.

Ballot Entry Validation Errors

If submitting a batch with ballot fields not filled out correctly, the batch will not save. We recommend entering a maximum of ten at a time since it is easier to find and correct errors.

If you get a validation error, read the error message, and evaluate carefully. The error messages will appear on the specific ballot that has been entered incorrectly and appear in order of the errors.

For example, if you had two questions on your ballot and two with validation errors, the first error message would be for the first question, and the second error would be for the second 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 to handle that ballot, as that ballot will not be able to be submitted.

We strongly recommend that you spoil the ballot that caused the validation error because it is incomplete. Spoiling ballots that have been filled out improperly is a standard process in many federal, provincial, and municipal government elections and is also common in non-government election protocols.

For any entry fields that have a failed validation, a "Spoil Ballot" option appears in the top-right corner, beside the [X]. Select that button to spoil the ballot.

Attempting to correct the voter's ballot to get it to submit can compromise your vote integrity, as you are attempting to guess what the voter meant by their ballot choices. 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

Apr 25, 2024