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Author: Joel Kristenson
Last Updated: 2016-10-06
This article walks through the steps to use the new (released Oct. 2015) poll watching feature to flag voters, using your mobile device who are voting in your current election.
The feature is bundled in with the rest of the Mobile Base Camp web app tools and can be accessed with an mobile device that has internet connectivity, and a web browser.
Tip: To save time you can create a single database user account with very limited security access for just poll watching. Then distribute the login credentials between all of your poll watchers. This requires appropriate security clearance to setup new users (normally not a good practice with your database but in this case if you limit the access correctly it makes the process much more efficient).
IMPORTANT: Prior to using this feature you need to:
- Contact our support team at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or (1-866-909-8700) with the request to set you up with this feature from our end.
- Let us know which election in your database you need activated.
- If you only require certain precincts to be listed in the poll watching drop-down list, we’ll also need a list of those specific ones (this can be especially common with a very large database).
We will activate the feature on our end, and also make sure that your precinct data is up-to-date, and that the naming convention of your precincts is consistent.
Tip: It’s a good idea to request this sooner than later so that all of your volunteers have time to learn how to log in via their mobile device, and how the results can be utilized with queries, and pivot reports once polling commences.
Navigate to your Elections list, verify that the election you’re polling for is created (otherwise create a new one), and then contact us with the name of the election you need activated. In my example I used my Primary 2016 election.
If you only want certain precincts within your database to display in Mobile Base Camp you’ll need to send us that list as well. This can be altered election by election on our end.
Your current list of precincts can be viewed by following Application Menu > System Manager > Lists > Precincts:
If you don’t want to go through and select which precincts to include in the poll watching app we’ll enable all that are in the database.
Once these steps are finished, we’ll update you that it’s ready (this can take anywhere from a couple hours to a few days depending on the size of the database).
As soon as we give you the go-ahead you can have your poll watchers log into Mobile Base Camp at www.trailblz.info/YourDatabaseName/Mobi - in my example I logged in at http://www.trailblz.info/democampaign_joel/mobi.
This is what it looks like prior to poll watching being activated:
Once we complete the steps above it will look like this:
Click on the [Poll Watching] button, and select the precinct from the drop-down where you will be stationed. In my example I chose the first one in my list “Alliance 1-A”.
Tap on the [Start Polling] button to proceed.
You can search by Last Name as voters finish voting, then tap on their record to open it. In my example I searched this precinct for “Anderson” and selected “John H Anderson”.
Check the box for Voted, and then tap on [Save and Close] to finish. If you make a mistake you can open the voter’s record back up and uncheck that box.
Once the voter is marked as ‘voted’ the background of the row in their record will turn slightly yellow. My example is below.
Repeat these steps until the polling places close. The next steps show how to utilize the data that’s being collected. These final steps assume you have access to your database and not just web passed polling access.
Tip: To use the Mobile Base Camp web app more effectively, take a look at this article. It will show you how to configure your device with the shortcuts to quick-launch the 'app', and how to keep the device screen on longer so you don't need to log in over-and-over.
In your database navigate to the Voters list > Attribute tab.
There will be a new attribute folder called “Poll Watch – Name of Election” with a new attribute item called “Voted”. In my example the attribute item is called “Poll Watch – Primary 2016”.
To see everyone who’s voted in the current election check the attribute box in the ‘Yes’ column, and then click [Search]. In my example it returned 10 voter records who had so far voted in my mock election.
This basically sums up the steps to setup poll watching, using the mobile app, and run queries by the results as they’re collected. Continue reading to learn how to build a pivot report off the data you collect - for instance you can get quick totals of voters by precinct, and getting even more advanced by adding in their party types.
Steps to Build a Pivot Summary Report that Details Voter Counts by Precinct
In the Voters list search for everyone who has voted in your current election, you’ll do this by using the new attribute detailed in the steps above. In my example it returned 3,157 voters for my mock election.
Click on the Format drop-down and select Columns.
Under the Voter ‘table’ select Party from the list of columns.
In the lower-left under the Joined Tables highlight the Precinct table, and then select Precinct Name from the list of columns on the right.
Click [OK] once the columns for Precinct Name and Party have been selected.
The new columns will display on the far right of the grid.
To get total voters by precinct with a breakdown of party, start by clicking the [Pivot] button.
Under the Row Labels tab select Precinct Name.
Under the Column Labels tab click Party.
Under the Data tab click Show count of occurrences and then click [OK].
Your final pivot report will now display counts of voters, by party type, for each of the precincts you’re polling. My example is below.
From here you can print the report, export, or graph it. This concludes all the steps, the related resources below link to a variety of other articles and videos that have to do with the Mobile Base Camp app.
Article: Tips and Tricks for using Mobile Base Camp - Add Shortcuts to your Home Screen, Adjust Device Settings to Keep the Screen on, and More
Article: Mobile Base Camp – Mobile Canvassing
Article: Mobile Base Camp – Contact Search
Article: Add an Election to Your Trail Blazer Database
Article: Election Day Procedures | Poll Watchers
Video: Mobile Canvassing
Video: Canvass Your Neighborhood With Our Mobile Canvassing App
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