Salt Spring Local Elections Poll

Our local elections are coming up on November 19th and just as we did with the federal elections, we're running an informal poll for the Capital Regional District Director and Islands and School Board Trustees. We have another opportunity here to see how Salt Spring might be voting for this years candidates. When you cast your vote you will be able to see results in real-time. You can also monitor results by clicking on the "View Results" link to the right of the "Vote" button on each poll.

NOTE: Salt Spring Exchange online election polls are not intended to be scientific and may not reflect actual results. Instead, they are a way for our readers to share their views with fellow site users. Respondents are not randomly selected, but select themselves to vote on a specific question. In addition, while Salt Spring Exchange online polls are designed to allow only one vote per user, savvy users may find ways around this limitation.






For more information on Islands Trust elections, details and process visit the Islands Trust election site. Official list of School Board candidates is on the SD64 school board site. For more information on the Capital Regional District details and process visit the CRD election site.

About Our Polling System

While no online polls are perfectly accurate, the polling system we use permits only one submission per user based on cookies and IP address. The system places a cookie that tracks submissions and only one user per computer browser can submit a vote. In addition, we will also review all submissions based on IP address. If there appears to be any vote fraud, an excessive number of votes from one IP address for example, we will delete all the fraudulent votes. Blocking multiple votes by cookie and IP address is the highest security setting in our system. We will also periodically delete votes that are from outside Canada. The polling software may record some or all of the following data when a recipient of the poll responds; IP address, browser information, OS information, time and date of event, and any text or choices entered.

October 31, 2011 1:56 PM

Community Comments

  • Avatar Peter says:

    Christopher, is there any way to track the voting? I voted once and got immediate results, but once done, I don't see anywhere to track this on an ongoing basis. Am I missing something?
    Peter

  • Christopher Roy Christopher Roy says:

    Yes, you can track voting on each individual poll. Beside each of the "Vote" buttons there is a link called "View Results" you can click on that at any time it will tell you the real-time status of the polling.

  • Avatar kandm says:

    Hi Christopher,
    When I logged in earlier today it showed Wayne with 109 votes. Now it says 77 votes?? Why would the number go down?
    Regards
    Kelly

  • Avatar RBI says:

    Results such as these polls are very subject to manipulation due to the low numbers of responders and thus a small group can make it appear that a candidate is much more popular than is the case by getting friends, family members, etc. to vote. What safeguards do you have to prevent or lessen this?

    Rob

  • Christopher Roy Christopher Roy says:

    Thank you for these questions. When we initially set up the polls, they were set up with what our polling service calls a 'high' level of security. Cookies blocked multiple submissions. This is the normal level of control for an online poll.

    Because this election is more personal to the island and under more scrutiny, we changed the controls in place to the 'highest' level possible that blocks multiple submissions by both cookies and IP addresses after the first full day the poll ran. We should have set this to the 'highest' level possible right from the start, but we were trying to strike a balance between accessibility and participation.

    Last night we deleted votes if more than one came from a single IP address. This is why you see a change in some vote counts. All candidates had their vote counts reduced as a result. We have now corrected this and the numbers will stabilize for the duration of the polling. The only change we plan to make is to delete votes every few days that come from outside of Canada. While there are numerous islanders traveling all over the world as this time of year who continue to use the Exchange, we think the results will be more accurate if they are confined to Canadian votes. So in summary, the controls we have in place are:

    * Cookie blocking
    * IP blocking
    * Non-Canadian vote removal

    We invite anyone in the community to audit the results and review the anonymized data. Contact me to make arrangements if you would like to do this.

    Going forward submissions can now come from only a single IP address and are also blocked by cookies. It's important to understand that we consider this an 'informal' poll. This is not an official form of online voting. Online polling can be manipulated by more sophisticated users even with these levels of control. Online polling in this community has given us very accurate results in the past as we have seen during the federal election. Our goal in running this poll is to get the community and the 10,000+ people who use the Exchange each month engaged in the process early, hoping they stay engaged right up until they go out and vote. Once official voting is completed, we will run another comparison to see how close these run-up polls were to final and actual results.

    So far over 240 people have participated in the polls. Our goal is 500 over the next few weeks. We expect this will be an appropriate sample size to give a good indication of final results.

    These elections are important for the community and we're hoping to facilitate as much dialogue and engagement. Please contact me if you have any other thoughts or questions, or if I did not answer here clearly enough,

    Thank you,

    Christopher

  • Christopher Roy Christopher Roy says:

    Jean Elwell has been removed from the School Trustee poll. She confirmed that she dropped out of the race this week. See her note here: https://saltspringexchange.com/list/school-board-elwell-withdraws-supports-page-howe/

  • Avatar thomasvikander says:

    The listing of candidates should be alphabetical.

  • Christopher Roy Christopher Roy says:

    The candidate listings are randomized on each page view of the poll so that there is no preference given to any individual candidate by being listed in order. This is done by design.

  • Avatar thomasvikander says:

    And the ads are also randomized (question mark).