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Author: Kristenson, Joel
Last Updated: 2018-05-03
This article provides a quick overview on how to import voter history data from a .csv file. It links to an example spreadsheet you can download to see how the columns required to be structured for this import.
If you need a hand with this please give us a call on our support line 1-866-909-8700. You may also need to send us your file so the data can be ‘flipped’ correctly so that elections are listed as rows instead of columns.
IMPORTANT! The voters must be in your database *prior* to importing voter history AND they must have SOS numbers. These videos will get you started with running an import of voters.
Tip: Start a new session of Trail Blazer before running the import, and close it afterwards. It will make it a lot easier to pinpoint the session and roll-it-back if a mistake is made. You can also run a sample import of a few hundred records before importing a large list.
IMPORTANT: When you open your .csv file in Excel, the leading zeros on the voter SOS numbers will be stripped (if they lead with a zero vs a letter). Here’s an example:
You need to take the necessary steps to open the file in Excel without stripping the leading zeros or the data won’t merge properly with the existing data in your database. There are a variety of resources on Google that walk through the steps to open your .csv properly: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#newwindow=1&q=excel+dropping+leading+zeros+csv
Here’s the link to download our spreadsheet template which provides the required column mapping for voter history imports, along with notes, and tips.
Once you’ve downloaded the spreadsheet, remove the columns you don’t need, remove the tip section, and remove the *first row* (which is just a guideline). Then replace the data in our example spreadsheet with your voter history date. In my example I left the columns as is, and just removed the first line and the tip section.
IMPORTANT: The Columns for ‘electionname’ and ‘election type’ will not be imported – you can either DELETE them from the spreadsheet prior to importing, or leave them as is. When you get to the column mapping part of the process, map them as Do not Import.
Note: The column labeled ‘VoterHistory’ will create the name(s) of the election(s) in the database, so you could name them something like ‘General Election MM/DD/YYYY’ so that it makes more sense once the data is uploaded, or you can change these after the upload completes (covered later in this article).
Once the file is prepped, save it as a .csv file type. Make sure not to include special characters in the file type, my example is below.
You'll get a warning, click [Yes] to continue saving the file as a .csv.
Once the file is saved as a .csv, close the spreadsheet. Click [Don’t Save] if Excel prompts you again with a warning.
Open your Trail Blazer database and navigate to the Voters (Contacts) list under the Application Menu.
Navigate to File > Utilities > Import. If you don’t see this it means you don’t have appropriate security clearance and you’ll need to contact your system administrator.
Click on the ‘Type’ drop-down and select ‘Voter History Add’.
Locate and select the CSV file on your machine, and then click [Open]. If you don’t see the file make sure you have ‘CSV’ as the file ‘type’ in the lower-right of the window.
Once the file is selected, click [OK].
This will bring up the column mapping screen. *If you named the columns in your spreadsheet the same we did in the example spreadsheet they’ll automatically map to the correct import field—if that’s not the case you’ll need to map them accordingly by selecting the values from the drop-downs. In my example I left the two columns in my spreadsheet for ‘electionname’ and ‘election type’ which can be mapped to ‘Do not Import’.
Click [Import] to proceed.
If everything is working correctly you’ll get a load animation that displays the status of the import. My example is below.
Once the import is complete you’ll get a notification with the results, click [OK]. My example is below.
Once you’re all done you can update voter counts under System Manager > Lists > Election, Voter History > File > Set Voter Counts.
You can also rename the elections and update other information (such as the dates and contribution limits) by clicking on each election name and inputting the respective information. My example is below.
The Related Resources below link to a variety of similar articles and videos on importing.
3rd Party Resource: Google Search for Tutorials on How to Open a .CSV in Excel without Removing Leading Zeros
Article: Import Templates
Article: How to Import Voters, Elections, and Voter History from the State Voter Databases into your Campaign’s Local Database – (Political Only)
Article: Field/Column Mapping When Importing Voter/Donor Data
Article: Start Import
Article: Running an Import of Contact Data from Excel into your Database – Basic Overview
Article: Pre-Import Check
Article: Importing Contributions
Article: Import Information – Definitions and Column Data Type
Article: How to Configure your RDP (Remote Desktop) Setting on a PC to Allow Access to your Clipboard, and Disk Drives
Article: Rollback – Undo Function
Video Playlist: Importing
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