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Ensure you have a legally valid ballot paper

Ballot Papers for Ballot Box Elections

Before you begin preparing your election and creating your election material, be sure to check your election regulations and legal framework. It is often written that voters have the right to a secret ballot, which at the request of a member has to be implemented. The election manager or election commission has the duty to make the necessary arrangements to ensure the secrecy of the ballot.

Secrecy of the ballot through the right ballot box

To safeguard the secrecy of the ballot box, your electorate has to be able to fill in and cast their ballots in private and unsupervised - ideally in a voting booth

In order for a secret ballot box election to take place, the following factors have to apply: 
The main focus on Election Day is on the ballot box itself. Firstly, these containers should comply with industry standards, company bylaws and most importantly with government regulations regarding elections. Ballot boxes often have to be a certain size and quality as well as having a sealing mechanism. Indeed, it is crucial that an election manager should know the answer to these questions to ensure legally valid elections are conducted.

Read here about the most important facts regarding ballot box elections.

It is often required that elections have to be supervised by election helpers as well as a delegated election manager. Supervisors are required to be present throughout the election period at the polling station to make sure that voters are not being watched as they vote, nor influenced as well as ensuring that the ballot boxes remain sealed.

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The Ballot Paper for Ballot Box Elections

The type of election determines how it looks.

  • Do you organize a list election, where voters can select groups of predetermined candidates in a list format and where candidates can be accepted or rejected?
    • The ballot paper must, therefore, have spaces for positive, negative and abstention options. You have to make sure that voters are not confused by complicated elections. You should clarify what the voter has to do on the ballot paper itself.
  • Organize a single candidate election, where voters select individual candidates. This is by far the most common type of election.
    • Be sure to coordinate with your election council to make sure that you are following protocol such as listing candidates alphabetically etc.
  • Does your organization offer stackable voting?
    • As soon as the voter can cast multiple ballots on a single candidate, there must be a clear indication on the ballot paper that this is an option.
  • Should the electorate have the option to able to split their vote between multiple candidates within a list election?
    • Ensure that the list election ballot paper is clearly formatted and this option is highly visible

 Here you can find some templates for legally valid ballot papers

POLYAS Tip: When you are creating ballot box elections, watch out that they are all formatted identically. Tick boxes and candidate listings must be the same, make sure that the same type of printing paper is used. Errors due to different sizes of tick boxes have often resulted in aborting the election and having to start anew.

Process of the election in ballot box elections

Upon entering the polling station, voters' credentials are manually checked against the electoral roll. Once they have been cleared to vote they receive the relevant ballot paper(s) from an election helper. After their vote has been cast, the ballot has to be folded so that the mark is not recognizable. The election organizers should make sure that ballots are pre-folded in a way that this process is easy for the electorate to follow.

Have you resolved all issues that you have surrounding the formalities of ballot box elections and ballot papers? You can now busy yourself acquiring a valid, sealable ballot box, voting booths and a location for your polling station. Here you can find some extra tips for optimal voting booths and a fitting polling station.

Alternatively, you could either let us handle your physical elections or make the switch to online voting and save yourself time, money and effort as well as increasing your turnout. Contact us today!