Problems and Errors Creating & Importing Participant List (PL)

Modified on Fri, 17 Feb 2023 at 06:32 PM

If you're getting errors when importing your Participant List (PL) or if after import, the keypads don't work as expected, the issue may be with the Keypad ID formatting and how they were created.

Most people use Excel to create their spreadsheets. We do, too.

See attached CSV versions of both EZ-VOTE plugin and TownVOTE Participant Lists to practice with...

While we are working on synchronizing the Participant List functionality between our cloud and desktop apps (should be available Q4 2019 or Q1 2020), you'll need to consult this article if you're experiencing an issue with importing to:

- EZ-VOTE PowerPoint plugin

- TownVOTE (see bottom of the page)

EZ-VOTE PowerPoint Plugin

When creating a PL for EZ-VOTE import, make sure that your list has a column in it that you can call "Keypad ID", "Keypad", "ID" or anything else that you will fill with the number of the keypad that you want to associate with your participants. The keypad number must be in a six-digit format, such as "000001"

Often, user will enter a keypad serial number, such as "011312001154", "B115080325" or "9009305" into this field.

Since our software supports all of the keypads models we've sold since 2007, we are supporting all formats of the Keypad ID field, but it has to be entered correctly.

There's a small "help bubble" right on the "View Participants" and "Add Participants" screen:

Hover over it to see that for the ProVOTE Classic keypads, you will have to use the true serial number on the back of the keypad, in its 6-digit hexadecimal format.

However, all EZ-VOTE 5, 10, HD and PRO keypads will only work if you enter their Keypad ID (a human-readable number) in a 6-digit format (XXXXXX).

For example, for an older ProVOTE system, you would enter: "00EAD1", but for a EZ-VOTE 5 or EZ-VOTE HD keypad, you would enter "000001".


If you're working in Excel, you may have noticed that it automatically converts the "000001" to just "1" immediately after you press Enter:




To avoid this, you have to change the column from "General" to "Text" format. Highlight the whole column (click the letter), and drop the Number Format menu down, then select Text:


From now on, the numbers (Keypad IDs) will remain in "000001" format...

Simply fill up the whole spreadsheet with remaining bits of information and save the file as CSV.


Another trick is to add an apostrophe (') just before the 000001 number so that it looks like this: '000001

Remember that if you open the same CSV in Excel again, it will APPEAR that the formatting has been lost, but it has not. Just close it (Excel) and reopen the same file in Notepad (best via right-click on the CSV file --> Edit) to make any small changes you need to make.

When importing the PL to EZ-VOTE, make sure that during process of input verification, the column that houses the keypad numbers is called "Keypad ID" <-- that's an actual, literal name of the value that you MUST select in order for the PL to work correctly:


If successfully and correctly imported, your final PL import screen should not have any errors and should show the number of participants that you've assigned keypads to:



The difference between another participant list and TownVOTE participant list is that the software is expecting the Keypad ID field to be in a seven-digit format (XXXXXXX) instead of a six-digit format, so just make sure that you change your keypad number 1 to "0000001" and you should be all set.

Once you change the Keypad ID column to "Text" mode (see above), you can create the PL that will import correctly into the TownVOTE app. Don't forget to add values (names) to Column C and D where First and Last Names should go:

Here is a summary of must-dos that we may have already mentioned above, but apply to TownVOTE Participant List also:

If you experience an error message like the one below during the import, double-check that your file is in the correct format and sequence of the fields is KeypadID, Weight, First Name, Last Name.


Please make sure that Microsoft Excel is closed. Excel tends to 'lock' the file you've opened in it so other apps can't modify it and cause data conflicts. Once you close the Excel window with the Participant List CSV file, it should be 'unlocked' and you can import it to TownVOTE.

If you keep getting an error during the import of the CSV file to TownVOTE, it's possible that while no Excel window is visible (because you closed it), it can still be running as a Background Process.

Double-check this by opening the Task Manager (right-click on the Taskbar, then click Task Manager). Initial Task Manager window is probably going to show in "Simple View" so you'll have to click "More Details" to see the Background Processes:

Look into the Apps section first. Select/highlight the Excel task and click End Task in the corner.

Also double-check the Background processes; sometimes there are more than one instance of Excel running there. Close all of them, one by one:

Sometimes the list will import seemingly correctly, yet, there will be the same error shown as above - this may be caused by a special character inside the CSV file that shouldn't be there:

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