The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Geeky post: Test poll: 'Voting' multiple times in a blog poll


Results of the recent Sharon poll. Was it gamed?
Was it possible to game the poll on whether Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs should be recalled (see post here)?

A little back-and-forth with reader Blackdog led me to put up a test poll where you can see for yourself how it works (see top of right hand column).

It is true, as Blackdog points out, that you are welcome to 'vote' every time you load or refresh a Plainfield Today page which has the poll.

However, if you note the TOTAL VOTES (VOTES SO FAR) before you vote and then after, you will see that your vote increases the total by one the very first time you vote but not after that.

After that, all you are allowed to do is CHANGE YOUR VOTE, from 'A' to 'B' or back to 'A', etc.

When you do that, you will note two things: The tally for 'A' or 'B' goes up or down depending on the action you take, but the
TOTAL VOTES (VOTES SO FAR) does NOT CHANGE.

If there was only one voter in the poll, you would of course influence the outcome 100%.

However, if there are 300 or more votes (as in the Robinson-Briggs poll), switching your single vote does not really budge the needle one way or the other.

Try it and see.



-- Dan Damon [follow]

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1 comments:

Dan said...

Hey, 'hide IP' commenter. I know all that, but why spoil people's fun?

It wasn't supposed to be a scientific poll anyway.