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Televoting

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Televoting

Televoting, telephone voting or phone voting is a method of decision making and opinion polling conducted by telephone. Televoting can also extend to voting by SMS text message via a mobile cell phone.

Broadcast contest televoting

Televoting involves broadcasters providing an audience with different telephone numbers associated with contestants participating; the outcome is decided by the number of calls to each line. Televotes are most commonly used to determine weekly results in reality competitions, such as the Dancing with the Stars, Idol, and The X Factor franchises.

In 1997, the Eurovision Song Contest began to phase in public televoting to determine its winner, with a mass rollout beginning in 1998. Initially, televotes completely replaced the previous system, in which entries were scored by regional juries. These changes led to the increased prominence of "bloc voting"—in which a country's voting pattern would commonly favour neighbouring nations (such as Scandinavian, Baltic, Balkan, and CIS countries), and countries with similar cultures (Andorra and Spain). As of 2009, results are determined by a 50/50 split between a jury and televoting.

Deliberative democracy televoting

A televote is initiated by random sampling of a population by means of random digit dialling. Those contacted are requested to volunteer to receive written background briefing materials regarding a particular issue, that have been prepared by a panel of representatives of different stakeholder groups affected by that issue, and incorporating various views or perspectives. Volunteers are requested to discuss the issue amongst their families and friends until they have reached a decision. At the conclusion of this period they are polled again by telephone in order to determine their views.

Advantages of televoting

Televoting is a more cost-effective method of democratic deliberation than many alternatives such as deliberative polling, as it does not require the participants to meet in person.

Common to other deliberative democratic techniques, it also tends to produce more reasoned decisions than "raw"

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