POLYAS Election Glossary

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


Polls allow decisions to be reached through casting votes.

Polls reveal the collective position on proposals or suggestions in assemblies or group meetings. Conducting polls is usually made possible through previously established regulations, found in, for example, constitutions or legal documents.

The polling process
Often a proposal which is subject to a vote can be either accepted or rejected. Abstentions are also possible. The voters can respond with "yes" or "no", or they can choose to abstain. A proposal is approved when a certain number of "yes" votes is reached. This can mean either a simple majority (more than half of the total vote) or a relative majority (receiving the most votes).

Polls can be held openly or in secret. If you run open polls, a show of hands, or simply standing up may suffice.
A secret poll can be conducted with printed paper ballots, or with a certified online voting system. By doing so the secrecy of the ballot is maintained.

See also: Online Voting , iVoting, Online Poll

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