In the e-mail interface, the voter sends the following line to the list address for a yes-or-no vote where the participants can see other's votes and where the vote tally is visible to all as the vote develops:
eVote poll [y/n] public visible
eVote must be the first word in the message, otherwise the command is sent to the whole list and is ignored by eVote. poll is the command to set up a new poll.
Votes can be numeric or yes/no. The vote limits are in brackets ([ ]) first. 119 is the highest vote possible; -119 is the lowest, and [y/n] means a yes or no vote.
public is for a show of hands; in other words, list members can query eVote to see other members' votes. private takes a secret vote. if_voted lets participants see if others voted but not how.
Grouped Vote Types
The community can be asked to choose one of many options. The command might be:
eVote poll group public visible 1 1. bittersweet [y/n] 2. bittersweet with almonds [y/n] 3. milk [y/n] 4. milk with almonds [y/n] Message: Which chocolate would you like?
The keyword group indicates that there are several choices. The 1 at the end of the command line restricts the voters to choosing only one item.
Next comes the list of choices. Each choice is followed by the vote limits for that choice. Last comes the message, keyword and the text associated with the poll.
Here's a more complicated example:
eVote poll group public visible 100 1. building maintenance [2,4] 2. system maintenance [10,15] 3. staff [20,40] 4. development [0,50] 5. outreach [0,50] 6. party [0,50] Message: Please help spend our budget. We'll distribute our funds according to the average of all our votes.
This poll asks voters to distribute 100 votes over six choices.Different choices have different minimum and maximum votes.
When such a poll is initiated by one member, all the members receive polling instructions, as follows:
Subject: [DEMOCRACY] Poll: Budget On Mon, 11 Nov 2002 23:12:04 -0800 email@example.com attached a poll to this subject: Budget ==== ==== POLL TEXT ==== ==== Please help spend our budget. We'll distribute our funds according to the average of all our votes. ==== ============ POLL INSTRUCTIONS ==== ============ 6 participants are asked to distribute 100 votes over the following choices: Min Max Your Average On Vote Vote Vote Vote Choice 2 4 - - 1. building maintenance 10 15 - - 2. system maintenance 20 40 - - 3. staff 0 50 - - 4. development 0 50 - - 5. outreach 0 50 - - 6. party You have used 0 of the 100 votes you are allotted for these choices. ====== ==== PUBLIC POLL ====== ==== This is a "public" poll. This means you can send e-mail to with the subject, "Budget", and with a message that says: eVote who to receive a spreadsheet showing everyone's votes. eVote who w=140 will produce a spreadsheet 140 columns wide. The default is 80. Of course, everyone else on the democracy list can monitor your votes too. == ==== TO VOTE == ==== | 1. Send a message to | | 2. Your subject must be "Budget". | (Don't worry about extra words in the subject line that | reply-to produces.) | | * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ----> * NOTE: These two steps are easy. Just use * * your reply-to key on this message! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 3. Your message *must* start with the word, 'eVote', or your vote will be sent to the entire democracy list and it won't be counted! To vote 12 on choice 2 and 25 on choice 6, your message should say: eVote 2. 12 6. 25 You can make your list of votes as long as necessary. Each choice that you don't vote on will automatically receive the minimum vote for that choice. 4. If your message has a signature, or any other text below your vote, make a line that says, "end" just after your vote. ======== ==== ==== CHANGING YOUR VOTE ======== ==== ==== You can change your votes while the poll is open by voting again. ======== ==== ==== REMOVING YOUR VOTE ======== ==== ==== To remove your votes on "Budget", send the message: eVote remove ====== === ======= == === ==== SEEING THE RESULTS OF THE POLL ====== === ======= == === ==== To see the current vote tally on "Budget", send the message: eVote info ==== =========== MORE INFORMATION ==== =========== To receive more information about "Budget": 1. Send a message to: 2. Your subject must be: Budget 3. Your message should say: eVote help who to learn details about the WHO command. If your message says: eVote how you will receive a message reporting Charlie's vote. To see your own vote, the current vote tally and this information again, send the command: eVote info For a general explanation of eVote/Mailman, use any subject line, and send the message: eVote help Clerk 2.520 Ser.No. 1
A user might reply with the following message:
Subject: Re: [DEMOCRACY] Poll: Budget 1. 3 2. 12 3. 30 4. 25 5. 25 6. 5
eVote responds by sending an e-mail receipt. The receipt contains the member's original vote message, including all the headers.
If the voter makes an error, eVote tries to help, with an error message:
6 participants 5 voters
Finally, the command eVote who produces a table of who voted and how.
Any of the above poll types can be attached to a petition that allows participation from people who are not on the e-mail list. Petitions invite a comment in addition to a vote.
Future Poll Types
The Clerk is architected to allow the addition of other poll types. Some interesting possibilities are described at www.michcom/~donald/dispute.html and accuratedemocracy.com/a_map.htm.