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Voting Booths - How do they uphold ballot secrecy?

With the organization of a ballot box election there are many things to take care of. One of the more crucial aspects is to uphold the secrecy of the ballot when voters cast their votes. The provision of voting booths that uphold secrecy is of the upmost importance.

In addition, it is vital to have sealed ballot boxes in which folded votes can be cast. The ballot box can only be opened when the election period is over when votes are counted. During the election period however, there should always be two election helpers or election supervisors appointed by the election committee to ensure that all election procedures are followed in the polling station.

Read on for the most important aspects of setting up a voting booth.

The right voting booth for ballot secrecy

The voting booth should be in full view of the election helpers who can ensure that votes are cast correctly. However, election helpers are not allowed to be know how voters are casing their ballots. A voting booth can be as simple as a cardboard screen or an actual booth with a curtain. Only one person is allowed into a voting booth at any one time - a rule that has to be enforced by election helpers present at the polling station.

Voting Booth Checklist:

  • One or more privacy screens which turn tables into voting booths.
  • Wide distances between voting booths to allow privacy on the one hand as well as wheelchair accessibility.
  • Pens in the voting booth. These should all be of the same type and should be checked regularly to make sure they are working.
  • Election helpers should make sure that only one person enters the booths at once.

Read more about election secrecy

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Setting up voting booths

Candidate information can be placed in voting booths so that voters can have a final look at their options. Be sure to watch out that these are presented in the same format in every voting booth and that they are not written in a way that favors one candidate or option. If they are not identical, the validity of the election could be called into question. Aside from election information, there should be pens with indelible ink from the same manufacturer. These should be checked regularly to see if they are still working and replaced when needed. Indelible ink is a prerequisite to ensure that votes cannot be changed after they have been cast. As a side point, table surfaces should be checked to make sure that they are good, smooth surfaces to write upon. In this regard, wooden tables with thick grain should be covered to prevent ballot papers becoming spoiled.

Checklist for setting up voting booths:

  • A pen with indelible ink - a biro ballpoint pen is a safe recommendation.
  • A stable, solid surface to allow voters to cast their votes accurately without slipping.
  • Be sure to go through all of our election proposals a final time before the polls open

POLYAS Tip: Ensure that there is no influential information in any of voting booths. Otherwise, you run the risk that your election will be marked as invalid and you will have to start again from the beginning. Learn more about legally valid online elections to avoid this entirely!

Simplify the election process

Create the most important information about the election and publish it before Election Day. Ideally, this should be done on a voting website which serves as the go-to point for all information about the election. This will help to increase interest as well as the turnout in the election. Integrate social media into your election marketing to utilize the multiplication factor on social media to reach the widest possible audience for your election. Similarly, market your election in newsletters to your electorate.

Save the tedious task of finding a polling station and setting up legally valid ballot boxes by switching to online voting. During the election period your voters can cast their ballots from around the world and at any time in an online polling station. Contact our election experts to find out about online voting today!