With local elections right around the corner, I thought I would share an excerpt from a new book I am working on related to Google Forms. This is  great way to use Google Forms for student elections (or for mock elections in your city).

#17: Student Election Voting

Level: Beginner
Estimated Time: 10 minutes
Example URL: https://goo.gl/ytpj00

Student’s get the opportunity to vote in various ways throughout the year.  They elect a student council, a class president, homecoming court, prom court, etc.  The voting process should be simple, efficient and secure.  Just like an official, students should be limited to casting one vote per contest.   Results should be tallied automatically.  Google Forms provides all of these features right out of the box.   Let’s look a sample form for electing officers to student council.

Creating an Election Form

  1. Open a new Google Form. Change the title of the form to be “Student Council Elections”.  In the form description box, enter some information on the elections.  In the example, I used “Please use the form below to cast your votes for student council elections.  You may only vote one time for each position.”
  2. As always, the first question already created for you on a new Google Form is multiple choice question. We’ll use this for our first position, Student Council President. Change the question text to reflect the name of the position.  Then, in the multiple choice options, enter the names of the candidates.  Make sure to put one candidate per line.   When you are finished with the names, click “Done”.
  3. Let’s add a second question by clicking the “Add Item” button. This question will be titled “Student Council Vice President” and should also be a multiple choice question.  Once again, add the names of the candidates, each on their own line, in the multiple choice options below the question title.
  4. You can repeat this process for every position you would like students to vote for. Add a multiple choice question, then enter the candidates’ names below.
  5. When you have finished adding all the questions, there are a few settings we need to adjust to ensure that students cannot vote more than one time.

Additional Settings
We need to adjust settings in both the Form settings section at the top and the Confirmation Page options at the bottom.  In order for this process to work correctly, everyone casting a vote will need a login within your Google Apps for Education domain.  Google needs to know who is casting the votes to prevent students from voting multiple times.  In the Form Settings section at the top, there are three boxes that need to be checked:

  • Require School District Login login to view this form
  • Automatically collect respondent’s username
  • Only allow one response per person

By checking these boxes, the form will require a student to login.  It will also collect the username of the of that student.  If the student does not login, they cannot access the form.   The last option, only allow one response per person, is what limits the kids to one vote per person.  To accomplish this, the system looks at whose username it has already collected.  If it sees that someone has already submitted the form, it provides them with a message indicating that the form can only be submitted once per person.

There’s one last setting that will need to be adjusted.  You can find it below the form in the confirmation page options.  Change the message to read “Your vote(s) have been cast. Results will be announced on Friday.”.  This is the message the students will after they have successfully voted.  It gives them confirmation that their vote was successfully cast.

Getting it to the Students
Similar to other forms we have created, you need to click the “View Live Form” at the top of the page to open the form in a new window so you can see what the students will see when they complete it.  Copy the URL at the top.  Once you have that, you can post it to the district website and direct students to vote there throughout the week.

When the voting period is over, open the results page by clicking “Responses” and then choose “Summary of Reponses”.  This will open up a graphical view indicating the winners, typically using pie charts to graph the results.