POLYAS Election Glossary

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

Ballot Box Election

The ballot box election is the traditional form of voting which takes place directly at the polling place. Election officers, who are usually volunteers, verify individuals' right to vote by comparing their personal ID with the data listed on the electoral roll. If a person has the right to vote, they then receive the election documents and the ballot paper.

The voter then fills out the paper ballot in the polling booth. It's important that the voter isn't pressured into selecting certain options and that their vote is kept secret. By doing so, the integrity of the election can be upheld.

Afterwards, the voter puts their completed ballot into a ballot box. The ballot box must be locked and sealed until counting begins so as to ensure that the ballot papers cannot be manipulated. Once ballot box voting has officially ended, the ballot boxes will be opened under close supervision and the ballot papers will be counted according to national voting laws.

See also: In-house elections, postal vote, abstention, sealing the ballot box

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