Account Management
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Account Management

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This guide section covers management of items within the main navigation menu of the Election Manager tool, including: Users, Settings, and User Profile. It also covers various elements of account recovery and how to toggle interface languages as well.

Important Note: Super Users, Normal Users, and Owner

Super users have full access to navigation menu pages, and all subsections within those pages. Super users may contact Simply Voting for technical support or assistance.

Normal users have reduced or no access to these navigation menu pages, and some subsections within those pages. Normal users must contact their organization's super users for technical support or asisstance.

The owner user is reserved for the overall owner of the account and is the designated primary contact for Simply Voting staff.

Managing Users and Usergroups


In the Election Manager tool, navigate to the Users page.

Understanding User Types

Users are individuals who have access to the Election Manager tool. There are three types of Users: super users, normal users, and an owner user.

Each user has their own password to log into the Election Manager tool. Only Super users can create other users, as well as assign different access permissions for each user, specifying the features they are allowed to use and the elections they are allowed to access. There must always be at least one super user in an account.

There can only be one owner user at any given time, and only the owner user can edit themselves or transfer account ownership to another user. Simply Voting staff may also confer with the owner user regarding any questions or support issues related to their accounts, as the owner user is the designated primary contact for the account.

Are multiple users necessary?

Organizations have varying needs when it comes to user access to the Election Manager tool.

For instance, your organization may have the need for an external auditor to keep track of turnout during the election and independently tabulate the results at the close of the election. To address this need, you could create a user for this auditor and give them permission access to the Electors, Reports, Results, and Election Log sections.

Other organizations may simply employ super users only, forgoing normal users and individual permissions configuration, if all such individuals have essentially the same responsibilities, duties, access rights, and roles.

And still other organizations may only require one individual to manage their account and elections.

How your organization sets up or configures users is entirely your own choice.

Sharing User Logins

Ensuring that no users are sharing an individual user is best practice.

This helps keep your overall account safe, and also enhances the Voting System's ability to provide an audit log (both in the Account Log or in individual Election Logs) of a given user's interaction with your account and your elections. To keep things transparent and auditable, ensure that multiple users each have their own secure user login.

Understanding Usergroups

Usergroups allow control over which users can access which elections.

Each user can be assigned to one or several usergroups, and when a user creates an election they may assign the election to a usergroup to which they belong, so that only users of that assigned usergroup will be able to access that election.

Deleting a usergroup makes all elections previously assigned to that usergroup accessible to all users. You may want to consider assigning such elections to a new usergroup before deleting an old one, if you do not want all users to have this new access.

Are usergroups necessary?

Organizations have varying needs when it comes to usergroups.

For instance, you may have the need to run a few elections with varying categories or contingents of your entire electorate, but you may also have the need for unique users to set up and manage each of those elections. To address this need, normal users could be assigned to specific usergroups which are setup to address each group’s election, without interferring with each other's work. Super users are automatically added to a "super user" usergroup.

Usergroups may also simply be a handy way to categorize groups of elections at-a-glance, even if all users have access to all elections.

Alternatively, usergroups may also simply be handy way to categorize groups of users at-a-glance, such as creating a usergroup of internal elections staff with permanent access and a separate usergroup for external auditors or scrutineers with perhaps temporary access.

How your organization uses usergroups is entirely your own choice.

Creating Users

To create a new user, click on the blue Create User button on the Users page.

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In the pop-up window that appears, specify a username, the user's full name, their phone number, their email address, their time zone, user type, and permisions, if applicable.

With normal users, you can specify varying degrees of access levels:

  • with "Custom" the user can navigate, and access, as well as perform functions within, the sections you specify.

  • with "Full Access" the user can navigate to and access these sections, and in sections where functions can be performed, such as changing or adding data, they are allowed to perform all allowed functions.

  • with "Read Only Access" the user can navigate to and access these sections, but they cannot change or add any new data to these sections.

  • with "No Access" the user simply cannot navigate to and access these sections.

Or, you can set the user type to super user. Super users:

  • cannot be restricted by usergroups,
  • have “Full Access” to all sections in an election,
  • may manage account-wide Settings,
  • may access the Billing section that contains historical invoices
  • may setup and manage other users and usergroups.

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Once you have filled out the Create User form, click Create. Upon successful creation of a user, you will receive a green Success Message. An email from Simply Voting will be sent to the user's specified email address containing password activation instructions. Instruct your users to keep an eye out for their activation email.

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Formatting Usernames

Your organization may choose anything for a user's username, though you should opt for something that is memorable.

If you also plan on creating additional users to support your organization's election management, it may be prudent to decide on a consistent format, though one isn't strictly necessary.

For example, maybe all users, including yourself, will have firstname.lastname as a format. Or perhaps you and all your users have organizational email addresses that could be used as a format. Or perhaps usernames could instead be based on an individual's position or election duties, like cro for chief returning officer or auditor for an election auditor, etc.

In the end, as long as whatever you end up choosing is memorable and makes sense for your organization and its use case, that is all that matters!

Note that spaces in usernames, such as the ones in “tommy williams” or “elections chair” are actual components of the username. Similarly, any other non-alphanumeric characters (e.g. # ! + _ @) would be actual components as well.

Managing Users

The Account Log section within Settings retains records related to user management.

In the user listing located at the bottom of the Users page, for the user you wish to manage, click on their Edit button beneath the Action column to manage their details and permissions. You may also Filter and Search if ncessary in order to locate a user.

You may also delete a user, thereby destroying their user account, or send password reset instructions via email to an individual user, through the other Actions from the main user listing as well.

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On the Edit User page, you can update their user information as well as configure their specific permissions.

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The above sample user (“twilliams”) has been setup to have custom normal user access levels that an auditor or scrutineer might need to conduct their duties during and after the election. Below, you can see the above access permissions in action.

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Owner Permissions and Transferring Account Ownership

The owner user may be configured with reduced or no access like a normal user, for when owners do not actively participate in election setup but have some overall organizational authority that must be reflected in account ownership and need to be designated as primary contact to Simply Voting staff. Though often the owner user is also super user.

Regarding the transfer of account ownership, the current account owner user must be involved with any transfer process to another user.

To transfer ownership, on the Users page, located at the bottom of the User listing, the account owner user may click on the Change Account Owner button to initiate the process. Select the new owner from the available users in the dropdown, proceed to confirm you understand the implications of the decision, and finally click the Transfer button to complete the process.

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User permissions for both parties remain unchanged during the transfer process.

Creating Usergroups

To create new usergroup, click on the Manage Usergroups button within the Users page to navigate to the Usergroups section. Then specify a name (e.g. "Student Senate") in the available field. Click Create to create the usergroup.

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Once successful, you will receive a green Success Message.

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You can re-name or edit a usergroup’s name by clicking on the Edit button in the Action column.

After creation, your usergroup is empty since users and elections still have to be assigned.

Managing Usergroups Assigned to Users

Once a usergroup and one or more normal users have been created, you may now begin assigning these users to their appropriate usergroups.

On the Users page click on the Edit button for the user you would like to manage and assign to a usergroup. On the Edit User page, you can now assign this user to any desired usergroups.

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Click the Save button once user editing is finished.

You will receive a green Success Message indicating the user has been updated. In the user listing below you will also see the the newly assigned usergroups.

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In this above sample, our "twilliams" auditor has been assigned to two usergroups: "Clubs" and "Student Senate." Thus, this auditor, would be able to access any elections assigned to these usergroups, assuming their access permissions have been configured as described in earlier in this guide.

Again, keep in mind that any elections not assigned to a usergroup are accessible to all users. To restrict access to one or more elections, you must assign elections to a particular usergroup.

Managing Usergroup Assignments for Elections

To assign new elections to a usergroup at election creation, simply select the usergroup of choice from the available previously created usergroups.

Super users, like in the example below, can assign an election to any usergroup, or if desired select No Usergroup assignment.

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Normal users, like in the example below, can only assign an election to usergroup(s) to which they themselves belong.

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From time to time, super users and normal users may need to change an existing election’s usergroup assignment. All users may assign existing elections with Draft status to any usergroup to which they themselves belong. Super users also have the ability to select usergroup assignments for elections with Waiting, Active, and Finished statuses.

To adjust usergroup assignment, View the desired election and navigate to the Election Details section.

Then you can change the usergroup assignment of the election. Below is an example of an election with Draft status.

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Managing User Profile and Security


Users can manage their own Profile and their own Security. To access these pages, a user must click on their name in the upper right corner.

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Managing User Profile

In the Profile section, you can manage your user details.

Your contact information is used to help provide appropriate support to you and your overall account. It is important that accurate and up-to-date information is maintained.

You may also set your user time zone, which is the timezone used to display dates and times as part of election setup and management.

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Display Time Zones

Different users can have different display time zones, and the Voting System accounts for this.

For instance, if one user has configured a voting event to start at 09:00 AM Eastern / New York time and that is their display time zone, a user who has their own display time zone as Pacific / Los Angeles would see the start time as 06:00 AM Pacific / Los Angeles. This is the Voting System accounting for the difference in time zone display as necessary.

Managing Security

In the Security section, you can manage your User Password and User Security Questions.

Defining your Security Questions is necessary to reset your User Password if you later forget it, and to help maintain high security on your account.

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Managing Account Settings


Some sections are avialable to only super users, while other sections are available to normal users with appropriate permissions.

Managing Organization Details

This section is only accessible to super users.

On the Settings page, in the Organization section, you can manage information about your organization, as well as an Annual Plan if applicable.

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Ensure that your organization's name and address is accurate and up-to-date since this is used for billing purposes.

Managing Annual Elections Plan (if applicable)

If you have a current Annual Plan for elections on your Simply Voting account, or if you have had a plan expire, you can manage your plan on the Settings page inside the Organization Details section.

Annual Plans are designed for customers who run multiple voting events over the course of a year’s time for the same voting body. Some customers may simply require an annual purchase of one Single Election credit, if only a single yearly voting event is anticipated.

Depending on how much time is remaining on your Annual Plan, you will have the option to either Upgrade or to Renew your plan.

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Upgrading your Plan Renewing your Plan
Upgrading allows you to add more elector capacity to your current existing plan through a purchase, so you can run elections with a larger electorate size. Renewing allows you to purchase a new annual plan, either for the same capacity of electors if desired, or for a new capacity of electors if more or less are needed.

In either case, simply adjust your plan capacity as necessary, and proceed to checkout to complete your purchase via credit card. Once successful, you will receive a green Success Message.

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If you would rather pay by check or bank transfer, please contact Support to request an invoice. If you have any questions about your Annual Plan or how to request a quote for one, or questions about Single Election credits, or other billing related matters, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Simply Voting staff.

Accessing Billing

This section is only accessible to super users.

Your Simply Voting account contains your invoice purchase history. To access your billing history, navigate to the Settings page and locate the Billing section.

Once there, you will find a listing of all invoices along with other pertinent information, like: Status, Number, Issue Date, Due Date, Total and Currency.

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Invoices can have:

  • Open status, which indicates the invoice has not yet come due.
  • Past Due status, which indicates the invoice was not paid prior to its due date.
  • Paid status, which indicates that invoice has been successfully paid.

For Single Election Credits or Annual Plans that are purchased self-service through the Voting System, such purchases generate Paid invoices and are available as receipts instantly.

If Simply Voting staff manually create an invoice for Single Election Credit or an Annual Plan, or for any other additional Premium Features or Premium Services, such purchases generate Open invoices.

Paying Online and Accessing Invoice Details

For some Open and Past Due statuses, a Pay Online button in the Action column may appear. This button will take you to the payment page. Simply fill out the required information and click the Process button to complete your purchase via credit card. Simply Voting does not store your credit card number.

No Pay Online button?

If you are unable to pay online, it may be due to the size of your purchase requiring a special processing fee. Customers can always pay by check or bank wire without additional credit card processing fees. Please contact Support if you have any questions.

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Upon successful payment, you will receive a green Success Message.

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To access the details for any invoice purchase, use the Download button in the Action column. This generates a .PDF download with additional invoice information, as well as instructions on how to pay by check.

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Accessing Account Log

The account log is an important audit trail of all significant activity related to your Simply Voting account. It can be useful to monitor the activity related to users within the account.

Inside the account log, you will find log entries related to individual user logins, password resets, user creations, user deletions, and when a user is updated.

All records have a timestamp, the IP address, and the username associated with a given activity.

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Account Recovery and Username or Password Reset


If you do not remember your account's Voting Website, or you do not remember your username or password, you can recover or reset this information.

Account Recovery

If you have forgotten your Voting Website, on the Election Manager’s login page you can recover your account.

To recover your account’s Voting Website, click the recover account link to begin the process.

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Provide the email address associated with your account and click the Recover button.

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After clicking the button, a green Success Message will offer additional instructions.

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The email you receive will list the Voting Website(s) with which your email address is associated.

Username Recovery

On the Election Manager’s login page you can recover your username if your know your Voting Website. To recover your account’s username, click the recover username link to begin the process.

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Provide the email address associated with your account and click the Recover button.

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After clicking the button, a green Success Message will offer additional instructions.

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The email you receive will provide you with your username.

Password Reset

On the Election Manager’s login page you can reset your password. To reset your password, you must know your username. Click the reset password link to begin the process.

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Confirm your username in the field provided and click the Reset button.

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After clicking the Reset button, you will then be required to answer your Security Questions in order to complete your password reset request.

If you correctly answer your security questions, you will receive a green Success Message with further instructions.

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Toggling Interface Languages


The Voting System has several languages available for use.

Election Manager Interface

When using the Election Manager tool, in the bottom right corner of any page you will find an interface language toggle. Users can choose to experience the Election Manager in either English or French.

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Voting Website and Election Ballot Interfaces

The Voting Website and any Election Ballot can also be configured to be available in several languages.

These language options are account wide configurations, and effect all elections on your account.

On the Settings page, in the Voting Website Details section, super users can configure both the Default Language that electors encounter, as well as toggling additional Language Options.

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The following Language Options are available for activation:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Dutch
  • German
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Tradititional Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Arabic
  • Russian
  • Portuguese
  • Korean
  • Hindi
  • Finnish
  • Swedish

When additional languages are activated, you can setup and manage dynamic content for each activated language when managing your election setup and general account Voting Website setup.