Configure Ballot Styles

For each election, you will configure your ballots by loading VxAdmin with your election definition. VxAdmin is compatible with multiple types of election definition files including Mississippi’s State Election Management System (SEMS) format.

Download SEMS Files

Before creating ballots, you'll need to download two files from SEMS:

  1. On the SEMS home page, click Election Management under Elections

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

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

  4. 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 should be named COUNTYID_DATE.txt and the candidate mapping SEMS file should be named COUNTYID_CANDMAP_DATE.txt.

Load Election Files

When VxAdmin has not yet been configured, you'll be presented a screen prompting you to Configure Election Manager.

Configure Election Manager

SEMS files can be loaded directly in order to define an election in a self-service fashion. Due to frequent irregularities in SEMS data, however, many customers prefer that VotingWorks check and convert their SEMS files into a VotingWorks election definition file.

Option 1: From SEMS Files

You must have the two election details files exported from SEMS saved to a USB drive. Insert the USB drive into the VxAdmin laptop's USB port. In the top-right of the screen, the text should change from No USB to Eject USB .

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

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

You should see ✓ Loaded SEMS main file when loaded:

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

VxAdmin will then create all ballots for the election. Once complete, you will see the Ballots tab showing the list of all ballots:

Option 2: From VotingWorks Election Definition File

Take the election definition file provided by VotingWorks and put it onto a USB Drive. Insert the USB drive into the VxAdmin laptop's USB port. In the top-right of the screen, the text should change from No USB to Eject USB.

Click Select Existing Election Definition File :

Select the file you loaded onto the USB drive and click Open:

VxAdmin will then create all ballots for the election. Once complete, you will see the Ballots tab showing the list of all ballots:

Changing Election Definitions

If you need to change an election definition, you can remove the current election definition and re-configure with the new one.

Click the Definition tab and scroll to the bottom. Click the red Remove Election button:

After confirming that you want to remove the election definition and results data, you will land back on the initial VxAdmin configuration screen. From there you can re-configure VxAdmin and create ballots from a different election file by repeating the steps above.