ControlWorks Voting System Programming Solutions: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

With voting and legislative systems as a core specialization, ControlWorks has been involved with many successful projects for the Senate of Virginia, City of Vancouver, and City of Oroville, California among many others. While ControlWorks specializes in automated voting solutions , we can also integrate additional functionalities, including request to speak queues, timers, automated broadcast controls, and audiovisual and lighting controls. We incorporate Crestron hardware, custom programming and a vast array of hardware and software interface options throughout the process to develop comprehensive solutions every time.

Download the Complete FAQ as a PDF here

Why We’re Qualified to Handle Integrated Voting Systems

On top of our practical knowledge and experience, 100% of our programming staff has attained the title of “Crestron Certified Master Programmer” including two Silver Certified Master Programmers (CCMP-S), one Gold Certified Master Programmer (CCMP-G) and one Platinum Certified Mater Programmer (CCMP-P). Our dedicated staff brings decades of experience with Crestron systems and diverse professional backgrounds. Our capabilities include integration management, audiovisual and information technology design and engineering across a number of industry verticals, electronics engineering, and technical theater/theme park environments.

Common Questions About Our Voting System Programming

Interested in our services? We'd love to work with you. Here are some frequently asked questions about our automated voting solutions.

Request to Speak:

Does your solution support Request to Speak (RTS) Functionality?

Yes. While the opportunities for customization are unlimited, typical Request to Speak Queue functionality allows the clerk or chairperson to “advance the queue,” wherein one button gives the “floor” to the next speaker in chronological (First in-First out) order. Additionally, the clerk or chairperson can select any user from the queue and grant them the floor or remove them from the queue entirely.

Can you have multiple Request to Speak (RTS) queues?

Yes, multiple independent Request to Speak (RTS) queues can be easily supported through our ​voting system programming​. While the total number of queues that can be supported is unlimited, we will determine the number that is right for your organization during the scope and development process.

Agenda/Meeting Management:

Can the voting system interface with outside systems to retrieve agenda items, load voter names, or “push” vote results to external devices?

Our ​voting system technology​ can operate as a self-contained solution or with an interface to other systems. We’ll partner with you to hammer out specific details about the type of interface that’s needed to help your system run seamlessly. For example, with systems used by smaller municipalities, all information is entered by the Clerk and/or Chairperson using Crestron touch screens, while voting results are emailed in a readable format with a .CSV file attachment that can be imported to archival systems.

Attendance and User Management:

Does your solution support Attendance?

Attendance needs and business rules tend to vary based on organizational needs, however, the most common approach to recording attendance is a dedicated “PRESENT” button that is either always enabled or only enabled during specified times (e.g. attendance calls at the beginning of meetings) or using events (such as voting). Depending on the body, business rules may be such that any vote sets attendance to present (with the assumption that by voting the member is clearly present). Users may only vote if previously marked present (with the assumption that if a user is not present, they may not vote), or voting and attendance may be completely independent. With all of these cases, the clerk/chair has the functionality to view attendance as well as change each user’s attendance state as needed.

We have additional spaces that require ​voting system programming​. Can your ​integrated voting systems​ extend beyond one space?

ControlWorks can design and program voting systems for any number of auxiliary spaces and maintain a consistent look, feel, and method of operation for each one. With these systems, we typically have an abbreviated design process to define the differences from the primary system. For example, the Senate of Virginia piloted committee voting in one committee room, with the project being expanded to all existing committee rooms during the spring and summer of 2017. The senators’ user interface for all systems is virtually identical with minor modifications to suit the differences in use, room capabilities, and rules between the main body and committees (including the ability to grant or revoke a proxy to another member, allowing them to vote on another senator’s behalf in committee meetings.) Our ​voting system programming ​offers expandability and flexibility.

How does your solution accommodate people with disabilities?

Our solutions start with information gathering and a consultation with the impacted user to determine the best accommodation. For instance, in Sioux City, Iowa, a council member with limited mobility used a keypad with distinct, tactile, buttons to register his vote. The use of a tactile keypad instead of, or in addition to a touch screen can be easily accommodated and may assist low-vision or visually impaired users in accessing the system. Touch paddles or “sip and puff” devices with an appropriate interface can also be incorporated.

How does your solution work in the event of a failure such as power, or network interruptions?

Assuming a system is similar to what we developed for the Senate of Virginia, system failure or disconnection of a single touch screen would only affect the operation of that touch screen with no cascading effects. Changes in votes or requests to speak from that touch screen would not be recorded until it had been replaced (in the event of a failure) or allowed to fully boot (in the event of disconnection). This would not impact other users.

For More Information About Our ​Voting System Programing ​for All Levels of Government, Read Our Voting Solutions Guide.

ControlWorks’ ​integrated voting systems ​are flexible and adaptable. City, county, state or federal — regardless of your protocol or number of members, we can develop a solution that covers must-haves and “like to haves.” You can learn more about our capabilities in our ​Voting Solutions FAQ PDF​. Take a look and if you have questions or are ready to discuss your project, ​contact us​ today.