DemoChoice logo


DemoChoice Business Practices

This page clarifies important aspects of how DemoChoice operates.

No warranty

Much of the software behind DemoChoice is released under the GNU General Public License. The "Disclaimer of Warranty" and "Limitation of Liability" sections (15-17 of version 3) apply to all software on the DemoChoice website, to the administration of the site, and to claims of features and business practices. Interception of data by unauthorized parties and misuse of data are among the damages referred to in the liability section.


The software, data, and content on the DemoChoice website are copyright © 2001 Dave Robinson. Not all software on the site is released under the GNU General Public License, and that license covers only the software released on the download page, and not data or content on the site that is produced or used by the software (and probably not on any other websites that use the software). Details related to the software are discussed in the Readme file included in the distribution package. In some cases, content copyrighted by others may be posted on the site (possibly by users). It is our intention that this should be done only with permission, or a well justified "fair use" claim, either of which should be documented on the site (we can help with this).

Our motives

Our ultimate goal is not to "monetize" you, but to help you learn about ranked-choice voting, and preferably convince you that it should be used more widely, including in government elections, ranging from local to national. That will not happen if we do not earn your trust. Much of the software behind DemoChoice is released under the GNU General Public License in support of these goals. A potential drawback of this is that others may use the software to create websites that are less trustworthy. Please let us know if you observe this.

Information gathered

We record your vote (of course). Your email address may have been given to us by the creator of your poll. The software is designed to request that from you when you vote, or send you a registration key by email to authenticate your vote. The only other planned uses of your email address are to contact you to clarify any problems with the recording of your vote, or to respond to an inquiry made by you.

On our poll setup form, other people can enter information about you that is then visible on the web, by making you a candidate or subject of a poll. Of course, others can post information about you just about anywhere on the web, and not just here. If something objectionable is posted about you here, please let us know.

Email practices

For some polls, DemoChoice uses email to send unique web link to a voter's ballot (see the voter registration instructions) and to poll creators so they can edit their polls. Voter email addresses are provided by a poll creator. If you are receiving multiple unwanted emails from DemoChoice, we do not want this either, so please let us know. In general, email has security vulnerabilities, which can depend on the software that you use to read it. One helpful practice is to confirm that the actual link in an email (which may differ from the address shown in the email message body) goes to the desired website, such as or


We do not sell voter data, such as telling a website selling books how you voted in a poll on favorite books. We mostly rely on others to spread the word about specific polls. If information about you appears in a poll, it may be included in these promotional activities.


Though ranked-choice voting methods have been used widely for more than 100 years, we and others continue to study improvements to those methods to take advantage of modern developments in user interface design, information security, etc. Ballot data that do not identify voters may be released for this purpose.


To assist poll creators in boosting voter turnout, or in use of nonstandard counting methods, we may release ballot data and/or a list of who voted. Ballots will be shuffled to prevent the two datasets from being correlated (assuming that more than one person has voted).

Adverse events

DemoChoice is a low-budget operation running on rented server space. It is maintained by an amateur programmer in his spare time, with occasional help from friends and users. Such an operation may be more prone to security breaches, server downtime, bugs, and data loss than other services you may use on the web.

User responsibility

Users do not have permission to "stuff the ballot box" with large numbers of votes in a way that is unfair to other voters. Poll creators do not have permission from us to cause content copyrighted by others to appear on the DemoChoice site (though it may be linked to, or posted with their permission or a well justified "fair use" claim); post or link to content generally considered objectionable (obscene, deceptive, hateful, spam, malware, etc.); or to register voters who do not have an existing relationship with the poll creator, or a reasonably clear interest in voting in a given poll. However, we do encourage users to promote their polls appropriately.

Removal of content

Polls may be removed from the site at our discretion. This is likely to occur if the poll has been inactive for a significant period of time, or if the poll contains objectionable material, but removal is not guaranteed. We and our hosting company routinely make backups of the site. We have not established methods to rigorously and permanently destroy every record of information gathered on the site.

Opportunities to help

DemoChoice has been created and maintained mostly by one increasingly busy volunteer. A long wish list exists for ways to improve DemoChoice, including broader language support, user interface modernization, making the counting method more efficient, and timelier customer service. If you are interested in helping, please let us know.