POLYAS Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy

Advance Voting

Advance voting, also known as early voting, allows voters to cast their ballots before the scheduled election day or period. Advance voting is generally done through either postal voting or in-person at special advance voting polling stations which open around a week or two before the actual election is to take place.

The process of advance voting is used in many jurisdictions to achieve the following aims:

  • to increase voter turnout - offering voters a variety of options as to when and how they can vote encourages greater participation in elections. Advance voting enables people who won’t be physically present in the electorate on election day to cast their votes, as well as people who aren’t able to attend polling stations due to long-term illness or disability.
  • to take the load off of polling stations on election day - as electorate sizes continue to increase as the population grows, polling stations will feel the strain of more traffic through their doors on election day. Advance voting helps to relieve some of the burden.

Online voting takes the stress away from voting entirely. Registered voters receive their credentials via post or E-mail and can log in when the election starts to cast their ballots. iVoting could be a perfect solution for advance voters.
Learn more about online voting.

See also: Polling place, Voter Turnout, Postal Voting, iVoting

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