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Dot-voting with stickers

Dotmocracy is an established facilitation method used to describe voting with dot stickers,[1] also known as “multi-voting”, “dot-voting”[2][3] or “voting with dots”.[4] In Dotmocracy participants vote on their favorite options using a limited number of stickers or marks with pens — dot stickers being the most common. This sticker voting approach is a form of cumulative voting.

Process specifics[edit]

The Dotmocracy process includes the following steps:

  1. Participants are each given a set number of dot stickers (as decided by the facilitator)
  2. They place dot stickers next to options presented that they like (they may place any number of their dots on any number of the options)
  3. Options with the most dots at the end of voting “win”

Variations include using different colour dots to signify different values, e.g. green for "like" and red for "dislike".


The origins of dot-voting are unclear. Professional facilitators have been said to use it since the 1980s[citation needed].

Between 2004 and 2014, Jason Diceman published "Dotmocracy Sheets" and a "Dotmocracy Handbook" on his website Dotmocracy.org. Although the original Dotmocracy Sheets did use stickers, it quickly evolved to be very different to dot-voting.[5] In September 2014 Diceman renamed his website and materials as idea rating sheets[6]


Dotmocracy has been criticized for limiting creativity and diversity of ideas, and giving confusing or false results. Dot-voting is like a one question multiple-choice survey done with stickers. Participants are expected to review, consider and compare all options before sticking their dots. As a result, too many options can be overwhelming and thus facilitators are encouraged to amalgamate and generalize unique ideas into broader and less specific concepts.

New options cannot be added once dotting has started, as this would not be fair to the new additions.

Similar or related options are penalized, as these can cause vote-splitting.

Participants can easily cheat by adding extra dots, peeling off dots or moving dots.

Often people will simply add their dots where everyone else has dotted, without considering their own opinion on all the options, thus an example of the Bandwagon effect.

See also[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dotmocracy — Please support Wikipedia.
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59 news items

Wicked Local Newton
Fri, 25 Sep 2015 12:04:19 -0700

... Newtonville Area Council and the Newton Villages Alliance/Newtonville Trust; at community meetings, charrettes, hearings and a widely resented “dotmocracy” and via petitions opposing development of our parking lot signed by more than 1,700 residents.


Wed, 27 May 2015 20:11:15 -0700

The next steps is for city staff to summarize data provided at Wednesday's public input session and report back to residents at a second consultation meeting on June 9th. At that time, they will be asked to participate in a 'dotmocracy' activity ...
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Tue, 23 Jun 2015 09:30:00 -0700

The students met for five weeks and and narrowed their 150 ideas to five through a 'dotmocracy', a type of democracy where one places ideas being voted upon on a wall and votes are cast by placing dots next to the ideas. From there, the Grade 4-7 ...
Wicked Local Newton
Thu, 26 Jun 2014 11:34:53 -0700

Using a process they called "dotmocracy," the City of Newton and Austin Street Partners held a public meeting at Newton North cafeteria Wednesday night. More than 150 residents gave input in the proposed Austin Street development, according to strict ...
Wicked Local Newton
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:34:55 -0700

Since July 1, Ms. Hyde has released reports based on community input collected at the June 24 "dotmocracy" session, where participants voted with stickers for their "areas of interest," and listed on post-its "challenges" and "opportunities" within ...

Huffington Post UK

Huffington Post UK
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 07:41:16 -0700

The result is a graph-like representation of the group's collective opinion on a variety of key statements that you can then use as a basis for further discussion. Why do they hold those opinions? Can we change them? It's worth holding another ...


Tue, 30 Apr 2013 21:05:28 -0700

The pair's concept is unique in that it draws from the principles of a cooperative and the large-group decision-making resource, Dotmocracy, according to Chilstrom. For example, when Showroom put together its contracts and store guidelines, “We gave ...

The Guardian Charlottetown

The Guardian Charlottetown
Fri, 03 Feb 2012 07:39:17 -0800

Riley Garnham, from left, Alley Hall and Kaileigh Martell, students at St. Jean Elementary School, participate in Dot'mocracy to choose the pieces for their new playground equipment. Children lined up in front of colourful posters. The posters showed ...

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