POLYAS Election Glossary

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

Ballot Box Election

The ballot box election is a classic form of attendance voting where voting takes place directly in the polling station. The (mostly voluntary) election officers verify a person's right to vote by comparing their personal data 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 is important that the voter is not pressured into selecting certain options and that their vote is kept secret. By doing so, the integrity of an election can be upheld.

Afterwards, the voter puts their completed paper ballot in 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: postal vote, abstention

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