Looking for voting software for a contest
March 18, 2010 8:40 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for online voting software with a few specific requirements.

This is for a contest, where people vote in various categories.

* The software should allow a mix of questions, from radio to check box to write in text fields.

* There are a lot of categories to this contest, close to 300. It would be nice if it could import tabbed text, or a Word document list

* It should be easy to edit the questions i.e. change the text and properties of the question, changing it from a write check box to a radio field

* It should be easy to rearrange the order of questions.

* Ability to enforce a "Must answer at least 25 questions" rule

* It would be nice to be abel to group the questions into 8 different categories

* BIG BIG feature: * Since many of the questions will involve write ins, where people type in a answer, it would GREAT if there was some way of tabulating, on the back end, those write in votes when they're the same thing but obviously misspelled. For instance, if the question is "Who's the sexist person in town?" and there are various answers like "Brad Peters" or "B Peters" or "brad peters" it would be great to mark those and similar answers as the "same" and have them count as 3 votes, into of 1. Repopulating the questions with answers is NOT an option. I'm open to some other way of handling this, but the key issue is dealing with people's misspelled votes and being able to tabulate them at the end of the contest.

* Voting results should not be publicly available. They should only be seen on the back end or to an administrator.

* I'm looking for cheap, say under $100, preferably under $50.

Being able to schedule an end date would be nice. Tracking via IP or other methods for investigating ballot stuffing would be nice.

I'm comfortable installing a PHP/MYSQL script on a Unix server and configuring it if need be. Or it can be hosted online somewhere, it doesn't matter, as long as the features are there.
posted by Brandon Blatcher to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Have you looked at Surveymonkey.com? I haven't investigated all their options (especially for the higher priced plans) but creating a survey is ridiculously easy.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 11:14 AM on March 18, 2010

Yeah, it's cool, but doesn't solve the manual write in vote problem.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:48 AM on March 18, 2010

I don't know of anything that has your "big big feature." That would be kind of the Holy Grail of surveying or database management in general. People type crap into forms all the time, and while there are some cleanup & standardization programs for, say, mailing addresses, I don't know of one for a random topic of your choice. Maybe, maybe there is one for names as long as they're typed in as your examples show (but "Peters, Brad" wouldn't work). But if you have a question like "what's your favorite coffee shop?" then the name recognition is useless.

This is based on several social science survey research courses and a few years of marketing database management. In the latter, we had to clean up mistyped company names by hand. Is it possible to get some volunteers for this undertaking? Perhaps Mechanical Turk can help with this?

Surveymonkey or Zoomerang will take care of your other needs.
posted by desjardins at 1:04 PM on March 18, 2010

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