Electronic Voting Keypads

Electronic Voting Devices is a term encompassing wired and wireless Audience Response Systems using live polling keypad voting with data transmitters and receivers. The systems are designed to be simple to use by meting attendees to gather group feedback from classroom students and event audiences. They are used to quickly gather feedback data and report voting results at meetings, events, Electronic TownHall elections, synods, research, and TV shows.

A Brief History of Electronic Polling Devices

The meetings and TV industries have been using voting devices for three decades. Quick Tally Interactive Systems pioneered in audience feedback systems at association and corporate interactive events as a manufacturer of wired and wireless electronic voting hardware for sale. Electronics and computer progress made it possible for audience feedback systems software and hardware to be rented to professional event suppliers and directly to meeting and conference event planners so they can gather data. Quick Tally’s Electronic audience feedback technology was there at the groundbreaking debut of TV audience participation with America’s Funniest Home Videos and continues to provide turn-key audience polling technology


Electronic Voting Keypads are also known as:


  • Audience Response Systems
  • Response Devices
  • Electronic polling
  • Keypad Voting
  • ARS
  • Clickers
  • Voting Devices
  • Survey Devices
  • Student Response Systems
  • Paperless Voting
Before audience response systems, audience feedback was difficult

How the Devices interact with each other and support audiences and meeting planners

The Quick Tally® audience response electronic voting’s interactive process enables the event group to learn from one another, break down assumptions, move quickly toward conclusions, and arrive at a group consensus. Using the electronic voting system intelligently and judiciously, Quick Tally’s keypad voting

  • Electronic Voting Speeds the Decision Process
  • Enhances Productivity. Saving time by dramatically speedup the process creates more usable time. Votes are instantly collected, aggregated and the reporting is available for viewing (or not) in PowerPoint in real-time.
  • Creates Anonymity. Eliminating a public showing of hands enables individuals to freely express their opinions and anonymously speak their minds on sensitive issues or provide anonymity when electronically voting in front of their peers.
  • Eliminates Gross Assumptions
  • Forces Ownership of Opinions
  • Empowers the Audience
  • Generates a Discovery Process
  • Encourages Growth
  • Accelerates Group Consensus
  • Enlivens Sessions and Provides Entertainment
ARS is for audiences and meeting planners

Similarities Between Different Keypads

While Electronic Voting Systems vary technically with unique special features, they all basically accomplish the same goals. Voters using electronic voting systems for meetings typically use three basic question types to achieve consensus, or simply for reporting and displaying data in PowerPoint. Voting keypads transmit data in short packet bursts to a receiver via wire, Wu-fi and/or Smart Phones that log on to a website via the internet. The data received is aggregated with both the questions and answers instantly available for PowerPoint display during and after the presentation.

The most secure and stable Audience Response systems (ARS) are wireless polling systems that use short-range radio transmissions accessible only within the meeting space, thereby eliminating the need for both Wi-fi and internet.  While security of information in every other form is pf primary importance to most groups, securing their data from exposure broadcasting via Wi-fi or over the internet is completely overlooked as a security threat.

Basic Question Types

Multiple Choice questions, the most common type of audience response questions, enable you to instantly see the audience’s responses displaying the presentations polling results by percentage or by raw numbers. Multiple choice questions can help the speaker to prioritize points and issues as perceived by the group’s participants.

Yes/No, (True/False) questions can help you to gauge where your audience stands on clear-cut issues. The results are often surprising. (You may also add Undecided as a choice.)

Likert Scale Questions define the parameters — from least to most — on sensitive opinion issues such as self-assessment, quality of product, effectiveness of campaign, ability to manage, etc. The results are shown in PowerPoint as a histogram and provide more detailed information than Multiple Choice or Yes/No question formats. Likert scales may use choices of 1-5, 1-7 or 1-10. They all contain a neutral middle point with anchors at the top and bottom of the scale. Most of them use the following descriptors:

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Agree
  3. Neutral
  4. Disagree
  5. Strongly Disagree
Electronic polling allows users to answer questions with scales

The technology is manufactured by several audience response companies with many more rental and on-site service providers. Many major hotels and convention centers have dedicated audio visual meeting equipment rental companies that provide ARS Clicker wireless electronic system services for meetings and conventions. Other independent ARS companies, such as Quick Tally offer both onsite Staffed ARS service and supply economical Run-it-Yourself electronic keypad voting equipment rentals.

Some of the ARS Electronic Voting Keypad companies are

  • Quick Tally Interactive Systems
  • Turning Technologies
  • EZ-Vote
  • PC Pro
  • Reply Systems
  • Meridian
  • Clikapad
  • Keypoint
  • SunVote
  • Optionpower
Quick Tally provides the best electronic voting keypads

Most common uses of Electronic Voting Keypads

There are many different ways to use voting keypads, and many different reasons one might want to know what their audience thinks. Here are some of the more common uses for these electronic voting clickers.

Training and Education

Most trainers and educators would agree with case studies that electronic classroom technology helps facilitate pedagogical best practices, enhance and measure learning in a livelier and more interesting environment.

Using ARS for education

  • Reinforces teaching
  • Measures retention
  • Identifies topics and groups for additional training
  • Enlivens the session and the event

Trainers know what they want to teach and how to teach it, and they generally use an audience response system primarily to measure retention after training. That’s a good idea; however, it is only half of what could be done.

You can’t teach them what they already know. Rethink and improve the process. It’s now possible to instantly electronically determine what the attendees want and need to know. Take a moment and save time by determining the users level of expectation and understanding before beginning the program.

Use the electronics to discover via keypad voting clickers what should be taught or discussed, create a brief pre-test or simply display a list of topics within the planned scope of the lecture. Ask which topic is most important. Spend more time on the important topics for the seminar. Then continue to assess comprehension and repeatedly confirm being understood and being on target with your teaching.

Continuing Medical Education

A major area of use for ARS technology is in continuing education and Continuing Medical-Pharmaceutical and Legal Education (CME and CLE) in particular. The American Medical Association (AMA) Physician’s Recognition Award and the related credit system recognizes physicians who demonstrate their commitment to staying current with advances in medicine by participating in CME activities.

The AMA lists the following as some of the many requirements for educational activities to be eligible for AMA credit:


  • Address demonstrated educational needs
  • Communicate to prospective participants a clearly identified educational purpose and/or objectives in advance of participation in the activity
  • Present content appropriate in depth and scope for the intended physician audience
  • Evaluate the effectiveness in achieving

 Audience voting Game Shows

A Game Show session always infuses new energy into the day and enlivens the event. It is one of the most popular uses for an audience response system and is most often used to reinforce education at conferences.

There are two reasons for having a Game Show session: playing a game to test or impart knowledge, or just to have fun and bring people together. Trivia games are generally played for fun at lunch or dinner so that they do not take time away from the business of the day’s sessions. If the game is being played simply for fun, the game rules are far less important than the entertainment value.

TV game show producers want winners—so should you.

Here are some important considerations sometimes overlooked at business and association meetings:


  • Just as in gambling casinos, where the excitement is generated by the sights and sounds of winners, TV producers want some big winners because it increases viewership.
  • By reducing the number of choices to the questions, even from 4 to 3, TV producers increase the odds of winning in the players’ favor. They also increase the odds that the audience will guess the correct response and feel smart. Help your attendees guess correctly and feel like winners.
  • If your plan is to have individuals on stage representing teams, consider keeping the rest of the audience involved as an ongoing “lifeline.”
  • Keep everyone playing and in the running. Avoid playing elimination games. It is very important to the overall energy and interest in the session. And, if you are tracking responses to determine further training, the longer everyone plays, the more information there will be.
Electronic polling devices are great for game shows

House of Delegates Voting

Converting from Paper Ballots to Electronic Systems

Changing from using paper ballots to electronic voting requires some thought. There may be unworkable or cumbersome rules that worked for paper ballots that are unnecessary, or unworkable with electronic voting. For example,

some organizations have vote verification rules requiring delivery of the voting results to a committee for approval prior to announcing the vote. Old rules need to be amended, both to allow electronic voting and make it viable.


  • Does each delegate have one vote, or is the voting weighted? Specialty weighting and tracking is a part of all event voting systems for meetings.
  • If a delegate is not in attendance during a vote, can another delegate cast the proxy vote? The rules of some assemblies forbid proxy voting. For example, in both houses of the U.S. Congress, as well as in most if not all state legislatures, each member must be present and cast his own vote for that vote to be counted.
  • Is the delegate/voter completely anonymous or identified?
  • Is the voting displayed just by the overall numeric result, by delegation, or by individual voter? Note: anonymous voting vs. tracked voting influence and often change the results of the voting.
  • How will challenges to the accuracy of the voting be handled? Will the entire vote be displayed by voters? If so how?

Amendment changes

House of Delegates members also vote on amendments. The existing bylaws are projected on one PowerPoint screen alongside the proposed changes presented simultaneously on another screen. Without this visual process, the simplest addition or deletion of ‘and’ or a simple punctuation change can become extremely time-consuming. Once the proposed changes are understood, the simple ARS question of approve/disapprove may be put to a vote.

Reporting results

A PowerPoint copy of the PowerPoint voting screens is instantly available and given to the client on a memory stick or emailed and as printouts. The other types of reports can be used with statistical or spreadsheet software such as Excel. The voting results may be presented as raw numbers or as a percentage of the votes cast and viewed by any subset of any demographic question such as years of membership, job title, etc.


Anonymous voting allows meeting participants to vote with confidence

Want to learn more about using electronic voting keypads? Check out Uses for Electronic Voting Clickers.

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