Working with Teams in the Field (4.x)

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Broadcasting messages
Override feature


Coordinators may be asked to broadcast messages to observer teams in the field in the instance of a change of polling location or schedule, a revision of the forms to be used in observation, or another event. Broadcasts can be sent via email, SMS, or both. As an administrator or coordinator, click Broadcasts from the main menu bar to send a message via email or SMS to individual or all active users on a mission.


To send a broadcast message:

  1. Select the Users page or select the Broadcasts page and then click Send Broadcast
  2. Select the user(s) to receive a message by checking the boxes next to the appropriate name(s)
  3. Select Send Broadcast—this action will direct to a page where the medium of the broadcast can be selected, and the subject and its content can be entered into a text field
  4. Select a medium from the drop-down list:
    1. SMS preferred: sends a SMS and then an email, if unsuccessful
    2. Email preferred: sends an email and then an SMS if unsuccessful
    3. SMS only: sends only SMS
    4. Email only: sends only email
    5. Both SMS and Email: sends both SMS and email

  5. Enter a subject into the subject line
  6. Type your broadcast message in the text box
  7. Select Send

** NOTE: Observers do NOT have the ability to reply to broadcast messages – instruct observers to contact their data center officer directly if they need to discuss a broadcast message or other issue.

Override code for submitting incomplete forms

About the override code

When a form has a required question without an answer, ELMO typically will not allow the observer to finalize and send the response. However, during an election observation mission, it may be necessary to send finalized forms with incomplete responses. By entering an override code, which a coordinator or administrator will provide to the observer, observers can bypass the required question. The override code can be generated as needed by mission coordinators on the Settings page of each mission.

The following instructions will show how an observer and a coordinator can access and implement the override code to bypass required questions.

For the coordinator

Mission coordinators have the ability to:

  • Establish the settings that allow for incomplete responses
  • Provide the override code to observers
  • Regenerate the code as necessary
  • Communicate with observers regarding form updates and code regeneration

For coordinators to view or regenerate the override code:

  1. Select the Settings tab in the top menu
  2. The override code resembles the following text: ‘ntw7nj’
  3. To regenerate the override code. click the Regenerate button
  4. This will prompt the coordinator to confirm the regeneration of the code

The confirmation prompt will also instruct the coordinator to take note of the old code before regenerating. This is very important if forms are still active in the field, because when the code is regenerated, it will apply only to newly downloaded forms. Any forms downloaded before the code regeneration will require users to enter the old code in order to bypass required questions. Coordinators should supply the code to any observers with active forms (old versions). The old code will no longer be available to view in the settings page.

Regenerating override codes is useful when a new mission begins. It is also useful if a decision is made to require authorization for incomplete response submissions, and the older code is widely known by observers. Frequent regeneration of codes should not be necessary.


**Note: If code regeneration is deemed necessary, the best practice is to regenerate the code BEFORE forms are downloaded by observer teams. This avoids complications with communicating code updates and keeping track of different versions of forms.

For the observer

If an observer needs to finalize and send a form with an incomplete response [an answer(s) is missing to a required question(s)], they can do so by obtaining an override code from a mission coordinator. The override code resembles the following text: ‘ntw7nj’.

**Note: Observer instructions apply to completing and sending forms on tablets. Submitting responses to forms in ELMO Online does not require that a user enter an override code for submitting an incomplete response.

Sending a form with an incomplete response:

When an observer reaches the end of a form and has not completed all of the required questions, a special question will come up. The question will read, Are there missing required answers? and will present the options Yes or I don’t know.

  • Answering Yes indicates that the observer has knowingly left a required question(s) incomplete and will prompt the user to enter his or her override code.
  • Answering I don’t know indicates that the observer may have unintentionally left required question(s) incomplete and provides the user an opportunity to complete the question(s).
  • Once the override code has been obtained and successfully entered, the observer will be allowed to mark the form as finalized and submit

**Note: The override code is case sensitive (usually all lower-case), so the observer must ensure that the case matches the provided code.

When the override code is regenerated:

In the event that a mission coordinator or adminstrator regenerates the code, the following should occur:

  1. The coordinator should write down the old code before regenerating
  2. Coordinators should notify observers of the changes and direct them to download the new version of the form(s)
  3. Observers should delete the existing version of the form(s)
  4. Observers should download the latest version of the form(s)

**Note: If an observer team does not update forms after a regeneration of the override code, it is still possible to bypass required questions in older versions of the forms. The observer will need to obtain the old code from the coordinator in order to complete this action.

Updating forms:

In order to use the override code, forms must be set to allow for incomplete responses. Forms can be updated to allow incomplete responses by:

  1. Select Forms from the top menu
  2. Find the desired form and select the corresponding pencil icon to edit
  3. Check the Allow Incomplete? box
  4. The Allow Incomplete? settings should appear as Yes next to the corresponding form in the forms list

New forms can be set to allow incomplete responses the same way. Any forms downloaded before this setting takes effect will need to be downloaded again by observers in order to allow for incomplete responses. It is important that any changes made to forms by mission coordinators during active missions are communicated to observer teams and that observers are instructed to download the latest versions of forms and delete any previous versions.

This post is also available in: French