Selectricity

Information and Documentation

Selectricity Anywhere

Selectricity Anywhere tries to help groups make better decisions in their everyday lives. It tries to make voting technology created for state elections and government use easily accessible for every day decisions.

Selectricity Anywhere is an email and SMS based interface to RubyVote a full-featured election methods library with a focus on preferential decision-making. It is similar to Selectricity, a flexible web-based interface to the same voting machinery.

Usage

You can use Selectricity Anywhere entirely by sending and receiving emails or short text messages (SMS). In the US, most mobile phones that cannot send email can send an text message or SMS to an email address. Selectricity Anywhere's is designed to minimize the amount of typing necessary to use the system while ensuring that answers are small enough that they can fit in a mobile phone text message.

Important Note

By default, all decisions are made with the Schulze method (Condorcet with Cloneproof Schwartz Sequential Dropping), although the system can support other preferential and non-preferential voting methods.

Please direct messages to: vote@selectricity.org

Creating a New Election

To create a new election, send a message of the following form:

new votename ABCD

Replace votename with an identifier for your vote. All votes will need to be prefixed with this so pick something short and easy to communicate to the other voters.

Replace ABCD with a list of letters, each of which represents a choice in the election. If you are going choose lunch between Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexican and Thai, a good string might be CVMT. Capitalization is not necessary and does not matter.

You will receive a confirmation message with information on how to vote.

Warning

All votes will last only one hour. After one hour from creating your vote, you will not be able to view the results or vote in the election and your unique identifier will become available for use in new votes.

Example Command

new lunch CVMT

Voting

To vote in an election, send a message of the following form:

votename ABCD

Replace votename with an identifier for the vote you would like to vote in.

Replace ABCD with a list of the the choices in the order that you prefer. Please list all choices and do not include any letters that are not choices. Send the choices as one "word" -- do not separate them with spaces or punctuations. Capitalization is not necessary and does not matter.

Each voter will receive a confirmation message for their vote after it is recorded.

Example Command

lunch TVMC

This would vote express a preference of Thai over Vietnamese over Mexican over Chinese in the election created in the example above.

View Results

To view the results of an election, send a message of one of the following forms:

results votename
.. or ..
res votename

Replace votename with an identifier for the vote you want results for.

The results will be computed and sent to the address that you sent the message from .

Example Command

res lunch

Information on a Vote

To receive information on a vote, send a message of the following form:

info votename
.. or ..
votename

Replace votename with an identifier for the vote you want information on.

Information will be sent to the address that you sent the message from.

Example Command

info lunch

General Help

To receive help on using the system, send a message of the following form:

help
.. or ..
?

The system will respond with help information. However, the help is designed to fit inside a 155 character text message and will be much less extensive than the help on this page.

Advanced Usage

There are two advanced types of usages that users of Selectricity Anywhere might want to be aware of.

Candidate Descriptions

During vote creation, users can provide longer descriptions for candidates using a vote creation command of the following form:

new votename ABCD A:description B:description C:description D:description

The first three arguments are from the standard vote creation. The second include a series of one-word descriptions which are prefixed by the vote character and a :.

Voters can see the voting list by sending a message containing info votename or votename as described in the section on getting Information on a Vote.

Example Command

new lunch CVMT c:chinese v:vietnamese m:mexican t:thai

During vote creation, users can specify a voting method other than the default (Condorcet with cloneproof Schwartz sequential dropping).

They do so using a vote creation command of the following form:

new votename ABCD method:methodname

The first three arguments are from the standard vote creation. methodname must be the name of a voting method that is supported. Possible methods include:

Note

If you have selected approval or plurality voting, you do not need to include a list of each candidate with each vote.

Voters can see the voting list by sending a message containing info votename or votename as described in the section on getting Information on a Vote.

Example Command

new lunch CVMT method:approval