SMSPoll – Accessible big screen voting

If you're looking for a way to run a quick mobile phone based consultation – or you've been wanting to use interactive voting at a conference or participation event – but haven't been able to afford expensive e-voting equipment – then you might want to take a look at SMSPoll.net.

 The service (which I just discovered this evening and have only briefly tested) lets you set up quick polls – which anyone you tell about them can vote on by sending a text message to a UK number. The results are updated in near real-time on the website – meaning you can get an 'ask the audience' style effect if you project the graphs that SNSPoll generates onto a big screen.

It's free for small polls (25 votes or less) and is very cheap for larger polls (from £5 month). 

When using it with groups of young people you would need to think carefully about any text message costs it might lead to – but even so – giving each young person £1 toward text message costs and having a few mobile phones to loan to those without them (or more likely, with no credit) at an event could potentially overcome those barriers.

If you do make use of SMSPoll – then I'd love to hear about how it works for you. Or if you've used any alternative systems perhaps you could share details of those and how they worked in the comments…

2 thoughts on “SMSPoll – Accessible big screen voting”

  1. Mi-Voice has been involved in SMS and On-line voting now for over 3 years. The system enables young people to participate in any type of participatory event either by voting on-line or by sending a text message.

    The product is usually used for more serious events where the outcome of the vote would lead to a decision being made or candidate(s) being elected. The principle is very much one person, one vote…

    To date several local authorities across the UK have used the system with some success…

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