POLYAS Election Glossary

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


Polls allow a decision to be reached through the casting of votes.

Polls show the collective decision on proposals or suggestions in assemblies or group meetings. Conducting a poll is made possible by 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. The approval of the proposal is successful, when a certain number of "yes" votes is reached. This can mean either a simple majority (over a half of the votes cast) or a relative majority (the proposal/suggestion which receives most "yes" votes).

Polls can be held open or secret. If you run open polls, a show of hands, or simple standing up may suffice.
A secret poll can be conducted with printed paper ballots, or with a certified voting system online. The secrecy of the vote is preserved this way.

See also: Online Voting

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