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Online Elections through OrgCentral

OrgCentral provides your organization the opportunity to hold virtual elections! Below are instructions on how to set up the elections, collect ballots, and see the results. 

Delegating a Member to Conduct the Election

Per Student Organization Constitution requirements, the person conducting the elections may not be someone involved in running for a position within the organization. For an organization, this may mean they have to designate someone not currently on the Executive Board of the organization to conduct the elections. The steps below will walk through how to create a position that can conduct the elections. The President, Vice President, or Primary Contact in OrgCentral are the only positions that are able to create and designate another member to conduct elections. Note that is the current President or Vice President is not running for a position and are able to conduct the elections, a specific position does not need to be created and you can skip down to “Creating the Election and Ballot”.  

  1. Login to OrgCentral.psu.edu 

  2. In the upper right corner, click the grid and then “Manage”. 

  3. Click on the organization in which you would like to create the election. 

  4. Click on the three-lined menu in the upper left corner, and then “Roster” 

  5. In the upper right side of the “Roster” page, click “Manage Positions”, and then “+ Position” 

  6. Here, you can name the position, such as “Election Conductor”, keep the position checked as active, and set the Management Access to “Limited Access”. 

  7. Under “Limited Access”, find “Elections”, change option to “Full”, and click “Create” 

  8. To assign the position, click “Back to Roster” 

  9. On the roster, find the member that will be conducting the elections. Click the pencil icon to the right of their name, check off the name of the newly created position, and click “Save” 

  10. This person will not get a notification of this position but should now be able to create and view the election.  

Creating the Election and Ballot
  1. Login to OrgCentral.psu.edu 

  2. In the upper right corner, click the grid and then “Manage”. 

  3. Click on the organization in which you would like to create the election. 

  4. Click on the three-lined menu in the upper left corner, click “Elections”, and then “Create Election” 

  5. Here, you can name your election and then add an optional set of instructions and set the times that your election will run.

  6. Make sure “Active” is checked, even if your elections are going in to effect at a future time. Also, check that “Only Allow Users Listed on the Roster of this Organization to Vote” is checked.

    1. Note that only those on your organization roster will be able to vote. If your organization roster is not up to date with all your current members, you can add them through the “Roster” function. Instructions on how to upload current members can be found on the OrgCentral Launch page tutorial videos.  

  7. Click “Save” to move on to create the ballot. 

  8. Under the Ballot tab, click “Create Ballot” 

  9. Name your ballot (this can be the same as the election title) and make sure the access is set to “General Access” so your members are able to vote. Make sure to click “Save”. 

  10. This next area is how you can add your ballot questions, such as the positions you’d like to have your members vote on or even constitution edits to be approved. Below is a description of each question type you can use: 

    1. “Check Box List” – You may want to utilize this question type for a position being elected that has multiple candidates. When editing this type of question you can also set exactly how many checkboxes can be chosen by the user (i.e. if you are running an election with eight candidates and the question asks the voter to pick up to four). 

    2. “Radio Button List” – This type of question is most commonly used for questions that only require a “yes” or “no” answer, or elections where only one candidate is to be chosen for a position. In this section, you can also include an option to do a write-in opinion in addition to listed candidates. 

    3. “Text Field” – This feature is utilized when a ballot initiative has no candidate named, and only includes a write-in option or for collecting data about the voter in the election

      1. This should NOT be confused with creating a write-in answer choice for a question that also has candidates, which is accessible with all of the possible question types. 

    4. “Instructions” – This section is often used to create directions for users of the election. 

    5. “Ranking” – This is used more commonly in elections when trying to determine what the best solution to a problem is (i.e. “Put your choices for a new local philanthropy in order from 1 to 5”) 

  11. Within some of the question types above, you are able to add additional text and options to show up next to a multiple-choice answer. To access the additional text options below, you will need to first created the question in the applicable type above, click ”Save”, and then click the pencil icon that will appear when you click on the question after saved. 

    1. Properties:
      1. Required - by unchecking this box, those filling out the ballot are not required to make a choice for this question
      2. Shuffle Answers - by checking this box, each person who fills out the ballot will see the candidate names/answers in a different order
    2. Answers:
      1. Include Text Area - this is where you would click if you'd like to have a write-in answer. You will first need to create an answer that says "Write In", and then click this options
      2. Include Tool Tip - this is a character-limited pop up that will show when hovering over the candidate's name/answer
      3. Include Additional Text - this area has no text limit and show up as an "i" icon next to a candidate's name/answer. This could be a place to put a candidates speech or answers to questions if unable to virtually give speeches
  12. By navigating to "Page List" on the left, you are able to add different pages to your ballot to help separate positions and constitution edits, for example. You do not have to create additional pages in the ballot if you do not want to.
  13. To publish the election, click "Back to Ballots" in the upper left side.
Publishing the Election

Once you have created the election above and have set it to active, it will automatically publish at the time in which you indicated. If you want to edit the time of the election or change the active/inactive status, navigate to “Properties” under your election. 

When in the election (not the specific ballot), you should see a tab that says “Publishing Options”. Here you can find the specific link to the election that can be shared with your members. As a reminder, only those on the roster will be able to access the election through this link. If members are not on the roster, they won’t be able to view to election ballot.  

Viewing the Election Results

After the election expires, the person conducting the elections will be able to go in and see the results. When in the election, there is a tab that says “Results”. Here, they will be able to review the number of members that voted for each candidate/answer. The votes remain anonymous and are only identified by a randomly generated number.  

To download the results and see the write-in answers if you had a space for that on your ballot, click “Export All Votes”.