Let users add more poll options while the poll is running

How about letting users suggest/add more poll options while the poll is running? Then we could run polls like this:

The UX could be made quite simple, just a radio button with an empty input field below the other options.


This is generally a bad idea:

  • adding items to a poll means they will be added late and won’t get many votes

  • this is fundamentally unfair to all voters; what if you realize you need to change your vote due to new poll options?

  • you can end up with dozens of voting options which is overwhelming

If you really need an open poll, first start a topic gathering poll option feedback as in “what options should be in our poll?”, let that run for a day or two, then gather all the suggested options (within reason, plus consolidation) into a new poll topic.


Just imagine the shenanigans, if an option can be added just before closing:

Yes, we include him in the election poll but, of course, nobody voted for him.

Polls look easy but, unless they are social media click-bait, they do require some planning and consultation.

I have several polls on the go and they all have failings because of unexpected conditions. Mainly they are about software use so the options have to be whittled down based on market research.

Many are annual polls so selecting the options often requires a one month rehearsal in December.

I always provide notes on why options have been chosen and post any ideas for improvement next time.


If you still need it.
I need this too, I am currently trying an external tool, that certainly comes with its drawbacks, compared to an internal feature.

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I agree with @codinghorror that this is generally a bad idea and not a good default.

But in brainstorming situations as a special advanced option for polls this can be mighty handy.

@jomaxro mentioned that many polling products out there including google docs support this optional mode.