Create Ballots

How to load SEMS election definition files to Election Manager and create corresponding ballots.

VotingWorks Paper is compatible with election definition files from various election management systems including Mississippi’s State Election Management System (SEMS). To create ballots from a SEMS election definition, you'll first need to download SEMS files to USB and then upload these files to Election Manager.

Download SEMS Files to USB

Before creating ballots, you'll need to download two files from SEMS and save these files to a USB drive.

From the SEMS home page, click Election Management under Elections

  1. In the Election Management view, click Ballot Styles on the left-hand navigation

  2. In the Ballot Styles view, click Ballot Styles in the top toolbar, then click Export and then Election Details.

  3. In the Export Election Details file dialog, click Browse and point to the USB drive to save the file. Click Export to save the file to the V: drive. The main SEMS file which should be named COUNTYID_DATE.txt and the candidate mapping SEMS file which should be named COUNTYID_CANDMAP_DATE.txt.

  4. Copy these files to the USB drive and eject the drive.

Upload SEMS Files to Election Manager

When you turn on Election Manager initially, you'll be presented a screen that prompting you to Configure Election Manager.

Configure Election Manager

To upload SEMS files to Election Manager, first insert the USB drive used to save SEMS files into the Election Manager laptop USB port. In the top-right of the screen, the text should change from No USB to Eject USB once connected.

Eject USB

Click the Convert from SEMS files button to open the SEMS file conversion page.

Convert from SEMS files

From this view, click SEMS main file and select the main SEMS file which should be named COUNTYID_DATE.txt. Click Open.

Load Main SEMS File

You should see ✓ Loaded SEMS main file when loaded.

Loaded SEMS main file

Click SEMS candidate mapping file and select the candidate mapping SEMS file which should be named COUNTYID_CANDMAP_DATE.txt. Click Open.

Load candidate mapping file

Once loaded, ballots will be generated automatically after an Election Loading modal and shown on screen. Election Manager will also mark the loading of election definitions as the configured at time.

Ballots Loaded

Changing Election Definitions

If you need to change an election definition, you can remove an election definition and reset Election Manager through the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the Definition Tab

  2. Click JSON Editor under Advanced Features

  3. Click the red Remove button and confirm by clicking Remove Election Definition

Remove Election Definition

You can now re-configure Election Manager and create ballots for a different election file by repeating the SEMS upload steps.