Polls, elections, and surveys

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You can set up polls to hold elections and survey your membership. 

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Your polls and surveys can be shared with your members by inserting links in emails or on your website, or by enabling the automatic poll announcement email option.

Only full administrators and membership managers can set up and publish polls, and view the results.
Only members with a membership status of Active, Pending Renewal, or Pending Level Change can complete polls.

What can't you with polls and surveys?

  • Sends polls to non-member contacts
  • Embed a poll in a site page
  • Display the polls results on your site
  • Change the order of questions
  • Randomize the order of choices
  • Modify a poll after it has been published
  • Generate a list of those who have or haven't completed the poll
  • Send reminder to those who haven't completed the poll
  • Share a link to an admin-only poll
  • Change answers after they have been submitted
  • Restore a deleted poll

Creating your poll

To begin creating a poll, click the Members menu and select the Polls option. On the screen that appears, click the Create poll button.

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The Create poll screen that appears is divided into 3 tabs: General, Questions, and Access & settings.

On the General tab, you enter the following details.

Poll title

The title of your poll. The poll title will be used to identify the poll to your members, and within admin view. Maximum length: 256 characters.


The description of your poll. The description will be displayed to your members under the poll title. You can use the content editor toolbar to format your description text, insert files, and add images, links, and tables. The description is limited to 4,000 characters of HTML.

Adding questions to your poll

On the Questions tab, you can add the questions you want to ask your members.

The questions will appear to your members below the poll title and description.

When you create a poll, a blank question appears, ready for you to fill in the details. To add another question, click the Add question button below the last question.

For each question, you can specify the following information.

Question title

The question as it will appear to your members. Maximum length: 256 characters.

Type of question

Determines whether members can choose more than one answer or option. If the question type is Radio buttons, then members can choose only one answer or option. If the question type is Checkboxes, then members can choose multiple answers. When you set the question type to Checkboxes, you can specify the maximum number of answers or options.

You cannot set the maximum number of options to exceed the number of options you have set up, so set up your options before specifying the maximum number of options.

Answer required

Indicates whether the question is mandatory or optional. Check this box if an answer to the question is required.


For each question, you can provide multiple options or answers. To get you started, two blank options are automatically created. 

To enter your option text, just click within the option and start typing. To add another option, click the Add option button after the last option. To reorder options, drag the icon that appears to the left of the option name up or down.

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If you want respondents to be able to suggest a different option, check the Allow suggestion/other field checkbox. In your poll, an Other option will appear below the options you have provided. Once a respondent clicks the Other option, a field will appear where they can enter their own choice (using to 256 characters).

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Setting poll access and availability

From the Access & settings tab, you can:

  • control when the poll becomes available to your members
  • decide whether respondents will be identified along with their responses
  • choose which types of members will be able to view and complete the poll
  • enable an announcement email to be sent to authorized members
  • allow the respondent to add a comment to the poll


Under Availability, you control when the poll becomes available to your members. 

If you select Once published, then your poll will open for voting the moment you click the Publish button after saving your poll, and the status of your poll will change to Collecting votes.

If you click the Set start/end date option, you can choose the start date and optionally, the end date of your poll. After you've published your poll, it will be visible to your members but cannot be completed until the very beginning of the day you specify (i.e. one second past midnight). If you specify an end date, the poll will automatically close at midnight at the end of that day, and its status will be automatically changed to Closed


Under Responses, you choose whether you wish to see the names of your respondents or keep your respondents anonymous. You can make this choice separately for each poll.

If you choose the Collect member details option, the names of respondents will appear on the Individual responses tab, along with their responses.

Clicking on their name will take you to their contact details.

When the Collect member details option is enabled, respondents will be warned that their contact details will be recorded when they submit their response.

If you choose the Anonymous option, individual responses will still appear but the respondents will not be identified.

Access permissions

Under Access permissions, you control which types of members can view and complete the poll, and receive the poll announcement email.

If you choose Admin only, then no one except full administrators can view and complete the poll.

If you click the Restricted option, you can choose the membership levels and member groups you want to restrict the poll to. If you restrict access by both membership levels and member groups, then  members who belong to any of the selected levels or groups will be able to view and complete the poll. If you check the All levels or All groups option then all levels or groups – including any levels or groups added in the future – will be selected. 

Only members with a membership status of Active, Pending Renewal, or Pending Level Change can view and complete polls.

Announcement email

If you enable this option, an email announcement will be automatically sent to members who are allowed to view and complete the poll. The announcement will be sent once the poll is open for voting.

To modify the announcement template, save your poll then return to the Access & settings tab and click the View/edit template link.

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Alternatively, you can modify the announcement template by clicking the Poll announcement email option within the Emailing section of the Global settings screen.


If you enable this option, poll respondents can enter comments in a comment field that appears at the bottom of the poll.

Previewing your poll

Once you've saved your poll, you can preview it before publishing it. To view how your poll will appear, click the Preview option. The poll will be loaded within the Poll details system page, which you can modify by adding content above or below the Poll details system gadget.

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Publishing your poll

Once you're ready to share your poll with your members, open the poll and click the Publish button.

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Before publishing your poll, review all your settings since you cannot modify the poll once it is published.

If you have set the availability of your poll to Once published or to a start date not in the future, the status of the poll will be set to Collecting votes, and members to whom you granted access can view and complete the poll immediately. 

If you set the availability of your poll to a date in the future, then the status of the poll will be set to Pending. Members to whom you have granted access will be able to view the poll but not complete it.

Sharing a poll with your members

Once your poll is published, you can share a poll with your members by inserting a link to the poll in an email or on your website, or by enabling the automatic poll announcement email option.

To copy a link to the poll, click the Share button.

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Members who click this link will be prompted to log in if they are not already logged in. 

The link will not work if the poll is restricted to admin only. To test an admin only poll, click the Preview button.

The voting process

When your members click on the poll link, either within an email or a page on your site, they will be prompted to log in, if they are not already logged in. 

Once they are logged in, they will see your poll question(s). After choosing from the possible options, voters click the Submit button to complete the poll.

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After they click the Submit button, a summary of their vote(s) will be displayed.

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You can add content above and below these two screens by adding gadget above or below the Poll details gadget within the Poll details system page.

Members can only vote once per poll. If a member clicks the poll link again after already completing the poll, their vote summary will be displayed again.

Neither members nor administrators can change a vote after it is submitted.

Closing your poll

If you've set the end date for a poll, it will be automatically closed at the end of that day at midnight. Whether you've set the end date or not, you can manually close a poll by clicking the Stop poll button within the poll details.

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The status of the poll will be set to Closed.

You can reopen a poll immediately after closing it by clicking the Reopen option that appears for a few seconds in the upper right corner.

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Viewing poll results

Within the poll list, you can view the status of your polls and the total number of responses.

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If a voter is allowed to choose multiple options, his or her votes still constitute a single response.

To view the voting for a particular poll, click it within the list then click the Results tab.

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You can view the results for a poll that is still collecting votes or for one that is already closed to voting.

On the Summary tab, the total votes for each option is displayed.

To view how individual respondents voted, click the Individual responses tab.

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The names of respondents will appear on the Individual responses tab only if you have selected the Collect member details option for this survey.

You can click the arrow buttons to scroll through the responses, which are displayed in the order they were submitted.

Exporting poll results

You can export poll results to a spreadsheet. You can export results for polls that are closed or still collecting votes.

To export poll results, click the Export results button within the poll details.

On the dialog that appears, you can select the export file format (XLS, CSV, or XML) and choose the fields to include in the export file. 

To begin generating the export file, click the Export button at the bottom of the dialog. 

While the export file is being generated, you can click the Continue working button and safely switch to another Wild Apricot admin screen, or wait for the file to be generated. If you wait until the export file is generated, the file will be automatically downloaded, and a link to the file will appear as well. In either case, you'll receive an email with a link to the file.

Modifying a poll

You can modify polls for which voting has not yet begun – those with a status of Draft or Pending. You cannot modify polls that have already been opened for voting – those with a status of Collecting votes or Closed.

To modify a poll with a status of Draft or Pending, click the Edit button within the poll details.

Duplicating a poll

You can duplicate any poll regardless of its status. When you duplicate a poll, all questions and settings get copied, and the status of the new poll is set to Draft. Responses do not get copied to the new poll. 

To duplicate a poll, click the menu beside the poll status within the poll list then click the Duplicate option.

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The word (copy) will be appended to the name of the poll to distinguish it from the original. 

Deleting a poll

To delete a poll, click the menu beside the poll status within the poll list then click the Delete option.

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You can delete any poll regardless of its status. 

You cannot restore a deleted poll.

Poll statuses

The status of a poll indicates its current state. These are the possible statuses:

The poll has not yet been published, and is therefore not visible to members.

The poll has been published, but its start date is still in the future. The poll is visible to members with the link but cannot yet be completed.

Collecting votes
The poll is open for voting. If enabled, the announcement email will be sent.

The poll has been closed to voting.

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