Note: Ballotpedia will be read-only from 9pm CST on February 25-March 5 while Judgepedia is merged into Ballotpedia.
For status updates, visit
Ballotpedia's coverage of elections held on March 3, 2015, was limited. Select races were covered live, and all results will be added once the merger is complete.

Writing:Polling information (ballot measures)

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: Writing:Articles about ballot measures and Ballotpedia:WikiProject State Ballot Measures
This page is a content-and-style guide about how to add polling information to a state ballot measure article.
How to write about
ballot measures
107px-Veckans samarbete rund.svg.png
(Stub articles)
Naming the article
Election results
Text of measure
Campaign contributions
Reports & analyses
Media endorsements
Path to the ballot
Similar measures
See also
External links
Additional reading

Overview articles

Library of tutorials

A successful polls section on Ballotpedia:

  • Gives you concrete data about how local residents feel about a candidate or issue.
  • Gives reader quick and accurate information.
  • Gives the reader up-to-date information about public opinion.
  • Formats information in a well organized, clear and concise manner.

Measure article

Below are guidelines for adding polling information to ballot measure articles. Such information is added in a section called "Polls." This section is generally featured below the "Support and Opposition" sections. Use {{ballot measure help}} as a guideline for the order of components.

How to

Step 1 Find information about the poll. This is usually found in news articles and will usually lead you to the official pollster website.

Step 2 Obtain the information needed to create this section:

  • Pollster name
  • Results (Yes, No, Undecided)
  • Number of people polled
  • Location
  • Type of survey
  • How the question was phrased
  • Margin of error
  • Dates conducted
  • Who commissioned the poll

Step 3 Write a summary. This should be a clear and accurate reflection of the polling data. Place correct references in the summary if referencing a ballot measure. Place references in chart if referencing candidate elections.


  • A poll of Santa Clara residents conducted by Survey USA during January 1-4, 2010, commissioned by the local CBS station, showed that 54 percent stated that they oppose the city's plan of using funds from redevelopment money, hotel room tax and the city utility tax for a stadium, and 40 percent favor using public money to pay for a portion of the new proposed stadium. The poll surveyed 500 Santa Clara citizens and the margin of error was reportedly plus or minus 4%.
  • Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, surveyed 500 registered Massachusetts voters between September 12 and September 15, 2009, and found that Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley held a significant early lead in a head-to-head contest with her Republican opponent, Scott P. Brown. The polling data, however, was heavily skewered against Brown. Of the 500 registered voters who took part in the survey, 39% identified themselves as registered Democrats and 44% as independents. Only 15% indicated they were registered Republicans.

Step 4: Put info into chart and format chart using correct wiki codes and add poll legend.

Example for ballot measure articles:


     Position is ahead and at or over 50%     Position is ahead or tied, but under 50%

Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided Number polled
Mar. 29 - Apr. 4, 2011 Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind 53% 30% 17% 711
October 10, 2011 Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind 52% 31% 17% 800
October 6-9, 2011 Rutgers-Eagleton Poll 58% 31% 12% 903

Step 5 Update polls.

  • Update polls accordingly and make sure to implement a timeline for notable measures to see if more polls were conducted leading up to the election.


See example article: New Jersey Sports Betting Amendment, Public Question 1 (2011)

This entire section may appear as follows:

::''See also: [[Polls, YEAR ballot measures]]''
* Summary about poll<ref>[ref goes here]</ref>
<table style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-bottom: 0.5em; width: 242px; border: #99B3FF solid 1px">
{{Poll template name goes here}}

Poll overview page

In addition to being featured on the measure article, the poll should also be added to the overview page.

(EXAMPLE: Polls, 2013 ballot measures).

See Ballot measure polls by year.

Add the poll to the relevant section depending on the status of the measure (on the ballot, proposed, not on the ballot).

Add the link the link to the ballot measure article and poll template.


:: ''[[Arizona Public Election Funding Ban Amendment (2012)]]''

Which would appear as:

Arizona Public Election Funding Ban Amendment (2012)
Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided Number polled
April 13-17, 2011 Lake Research Partners 77% 14% 9% 500

Poll chart wiki-code

if a template does not currently exist, you'll want to copy the code below to the new template and add the relevant poll data.

Poll template naming conventions generally are as follows:

  • State abbreviation
  • Measure number or descriptive name
  • Year
  • "Poll"

Example: {{MichiganCollectiveBargaining2012Poll}}


  • If position is ahead and at or over 50% add the "winnercolor" component. If below 50%, remove "winnercolor." (see below)
  • There is no limit to the number of polls that can be added.

Single poll

|daterange=MONTH DATE - MONTH DATE (List year if not in the same year as election. 2011 poll for a 2012 measure)
|pollster=Pollster name (For example: EPIC-MRA)
|winnercolor=yellow (If position is ahead and at or over 50% add this. If not, remove "winnercolor")
|choice1pct=## (in favor)
|choice2pct=## (opposed)
|choice3pct=## (undecided)
|totalpolled=### (total polled)

Minus the notes in parentheses, this would appear as:

Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided Number polled
MONTH DATE - MONTH DATE Ballotpedia Polling 60% 30% 10% 900

Multiple poll

|pollster=Pollster name

|pollster=Pollster name 

(Above: space included to show both polls)

This would appear as (note the second poll does not include "winnercolor" because neither position reached 50% or more):

Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided Number polled
MONTH DATE - MONTH DATE Ballotpedia Polling 60% 30% 10% 900
MONTH DATE - MONTH DATE Ballotpedia Polling 30% 40% 30% 900

See also