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Online help for the SZTAKI Voting system


Used terms

There are the following categories of users from the viewpoint of voting:

  • Observers: they can read all documents about the voting, but they cannot vote.
  • Voters: The voter (or participant) can vote, but may not necessarily observe the voting.
  • Organizers: they can use the management interface to control the process of the voting.
  • E-mail users: they can receive some reports about the voting via e-mail.

The voting is defined by the following data:

  • Languages: a voting can operate in several languages simultaneously.
  • Group definitions: users can be grouped for different purposes.
  • Questionnaire: the questions to be answered.
  • The control script: the process definition (starting vote collection, stopping collection, making result, etc.)

The process of a voting

During its lifetime, the voting goes through the following states: in preparation, started, closed. In addition the voting can be in suspended state in case of maintenance.

In the preparation phase the voting is defined by the organizers according to the discussion which can take place in the user contributions area. Then the voting is started by the organizers, and the control script is automatically executed. In the started phase participants may get various e-mail messages from the voting, voters can cast their votes, and the result is calculated at the given dates. Finally the voting is closed either automatically or by one of the organizers. In the closed state the voting is turned into an archive of the past voting activity.

Observer's viewpoint

The observer meets with the following screen elements:

  • Voting status lines: these lines describe the actual state of the voting, including the status of the voting, the number of votes arrived, etc.
  • Voting actions: The possible actions for the current user (e.g. cast vote).
  • System reports: these are generated by the system, and give the detailed status of the voting. These reports remain available in a closed voting as well.
    • The Log contains system messages about the actions performed by the voting system, and about the actions taken by the organizers.
    • The Description contains the current description and state of the voting process including general settings, the questionnaire and the control script.
    • The Result contains the result of the voting. Organizers may decide to publish intermediate results at different dates which are also published here.

Voter's viewpoint

The voter can fill the questionnaire, and send his/her vote to the voting. According to the configuration of the voting votes can be changed or not. When changing of votes is not allowed, the voter can fill the questionnaire only once. Another setting defines how the identity of the voter is handled: open, secret or anonymous. Open means the voters' names are shown in the result. Secret means the voters' names are stored in the database, but not shown in the result. Anonymous means the voters' names are not stored at all. If allowed, the voter may abstain or make comments to a question. In order to fill the questionnaire, the voter should understand the meaning of various question types.
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