Conducting voter surveys is easier with a chatbot

5 mins read

How would they like to vote? By mail? Dropbox? In person? Conduct a survey to find out.

Chatbots take the cost and complexity out of conducting surveys. Surveys can be designed and conducted within a day and cost about 20 cents per completed survey. Here’s how Mother’s of Hope a non-profit in Kalamazoo, MI conducted a chatbot survey of voters to understand voter preferences and concerns.

Mothers of Hope conducts a chatbot survey to understand voters' preferences and concerns.

Designing a chatbot survey

Chatbots conduct surveys by asking a series of questions that you’ve pre-defined. They text each question and save the survey response in a database along with the survey taker’s phone number. You get the survey results immediately. Mother’s of Hope created a battery of questions for their chatbot.

Mothers of Hope wants to make sure every vote is counted. Please help us by sharing your vote experience.
– What zip code do you live in?
– What is your race/ethnicity?
– What is your gender?
– What is your age?
– What is your political party?
– Did you vote in the Primary election on August 4th? (Y/N)
– How did you cast your vote? (P=At the Precinct Poll, A=Absentee)
– If you voted Absentee, how did you deliver your ballot? (I=In person at the clerk’s office, D=Drop Box, M=Mail In)
– Did you vote for candidates in both parties? (Y/N)
– If you mailed in your ballot, did you place two or more stamps on the envelope? (Y=Yes, N=No, D=I did not mail my ballot)
– Did you sign the back of your ballot? (Y=Yes, N=No, P=Voted At Precinct Poll)
– Where do you prefer to vote? (P=At the Precinct Poll, A=Absentee ballot)
– Do you believe your ballot was counted? (Y/N)
– Where will you be voting in the General Election? (P=Precinct poll, A=Absentee ballot, N=I will not be voting)
Thanks for completing the survey. Make sure to vote in November. Learn more Mothers of Hope.

Chatbot asks survey questions as a series of texts and saves the responses.

Encouraging voters to take the survey

At Mothers of Hope we understand the challenges with voting both absentee and at the polling precincts.  During this pandemic and uncertain times, everything is different.  

Please take a moment and TEXT “vote” to 269 371-8087 and answer a few short questions regarding your vote experience during the August election. We are  committed to ensuring every vote cast in November is counted.  Help us get the information we need to continue our voter education and outreach efforts. Anyone can register to vote online by clicking this link.

Mothers of Hope and our partnering organizations are nonpartisan and do not support, endorse or lobby any candidate or political party.

A primer on chatbots

Chatbots are small programs that interact with people by phone calls, text messages and Facebook Messenger. They simply ask a series of questions and interact with callers as they have been instructed to. Chatbots can handle any number of calls or texts and work around the clock. New software platforms like TwilioGoogle and IBM have made it much easier to create chatbots. DemLabs created the Mothers of Hope chatbot in a day.

Chatbots can be reused which makes them even more cost-effective. This lets you use the same chatbot and phone number to conduct multiple surveys by just changing the survey questions you want to ask. Simple survey chatbots can be created for about $500 plus one cent for every question sent by the chatbot. This chatbot immediately saves the survey responses in a spreadsheet.

Survey results saved by chatbot in a spreadsheet.

Takeaway: Chatbots make it fast, simple and affordable to conduct voter surveys.


Image: Fitore F on Unsplash
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DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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