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Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an
electorate Electorate may refer to: * The people who are eligible to vote in an Election#Electorate, election, especially their number e.g. the term ''size of (the) electorate'' * The dominion of a Prince-elector in the Holy Roman Empire until 1806 * An electo ...
, in order to make a collective
decision
decision
or express an opinion usually following discussions, debates or
election campaigns A political campaign is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making progress within a specific group. In democracy, democracies, political campaigns often refer to election, electoral campaigns, by which representatives a ...
.
Democracies Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polit ...

Democracies
elect holders of high office by voting. Residents of a place represented by an elected official are called "constituents", and those constituents who cast a
ballot A ballot is a device used to cast votes in an election and may be found as a piece of paper or a small ball used in secret . It was originally a small ball (see ) used to record decisions made by voters in Italy around the 16th century. Each v ...

ballot
for their chosen candidate are called "voters". There are different systems for collecting votes, but while many of the systems used in decision-making can also be used as electoral systems, any which cater for proportional representation can only be used in elections. In smaller organizations, voting can occur in different ways. Formally via ballot to elect others for example within a workplace, to elect members of political associations or to choose roles for others. Informally voting could occur as a spoken agreement or as a verbal gesture like a raised hand or electronically.


In politics

In a
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation ("direct democracy"), or to cho ...

democracy
, a
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
is chosen by voting in an
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...

election
: a way for an electorate to elect, i.e., choose, among several candidates for rule. However, more than likely, elections will be between two opposing parties. These two will be the most established and the most popular. For example, in the US the competition is between the Republicans and the Democrats. In a indirect democracy ''voting'' is the method by which the person elected (in charge) represents their policies and party, whilst making decisions, with regards to other authorities. For example, in the UK the prime minister has to make decisions with regards to the House Of Commons and House Of Lords.
direct democracy Direct democracy or pure democracy is a form of democracy in which the Election#Electorate, electorate decides on policy initiatives without legislator, legislative representatives as proxies. This differs from the majority of currently estab ...
, is the complete opposite, the person elected, has more independent control and does not need to get policies passed throughout the government. In retrospect, a majority vote is when the mass of individual's vote for the same person. However, whilst each individuals choice for or against, does count, a lot of countries use geographic measures to decide who wins. For example, in the UK the person with the most constituencies wins, but they may not always have the most individual votes. Other countries who have liberal democracies, may use a
secret ballot The secret ballot, also known as the Australian ballot, is a voting method in which a voter Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an Constituency, electorate, in order to make a collective decision making, decision or expres ...
, hoping to prevent individuals from becoming influenced by other people and to protect their political privacy. The objective for secret ballots, is to try and get the most authentic outcome. A reasoning behind why this way of voting may capture a better result, is mainly to do with social influence. People may be obligated to vote for certain parties due to feeling pressured, having a lack of knowledge, or siding with what they think may be the majority, purely to fit in. Therefore, not only will the people feel more protected, they may also be able to vote for who they actually think will be the best representative. Voting often takes place at a
polling station A polling place is where vote Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an electorate Electorate may refer to: * The people who are eligible to vote in an Election#Electorate, election, especially their number e.g. the term ''size ...

polling station
; but can also be done by electronical voting systems, which has been used in India, Brazil and the Philippines. It is voluntary in some countries, like the UK, but in others it may be compulsory, such as Australia
compulsory
compulsory
Due to countries having different rules about whether or not voting is compulsory, statistics showing how voting has changed will differ.


Decision-making systems

When making a decision, those concerned seek one outcome: a majority opinion for a single decision or a single prioritisation. There are several ways in which voters and/or elected representatives may seek to identify that majority opinion. There is the simple, weighted or
consociational Consociationalism ( ) is a form of power sharing in a democracy. Political science, Political scientists define a consociational State (polity), state as one which has major internal divisions along ethnic, religious, or linguistic lines, with non ...
majority vote. There are other multi-option procedures as well; these include two-round voting, the alternative vote AV, (which is also known as instant run-off voting IRV, and the single transferable vote STV), approval voting, a Borda Count BC, the Modified Borda Count MBC, and the Condorcet rule, nearly all of which are also used as electoral systems. They are outlined below.


Electoral systems

There are rather more electoral systems, because of proportional representation, PR. Those concerned might want to select just one person, or maybe a committee, or maybe an entire parliament. In electing a president, there is usually just one winner, although the original system in the United States also elected the runner-up as a vice-president. In electing a parliament, either each of many small constituencies can elect a single representative, as in Britain; or each of quite a few multi-member constituencies may elect a few representatives, as in Ireland; or the entire country can be treated as the one constituency, as in The Netherlands. Different
voting system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and referendums A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct and universal vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote ...
s use different types of votes.
Plurality voting Plurality voting is an electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral systems are organized by gover ...
does not require the winner to achieve a voting majority or more than fifty per cent of the total votes cast. In a voting system that uses a single vote per race, when more than two candidates run, the winner may commonly have less than fifty per cent of the vote. A side effect of a single vote per race is
vote splitting Vote splitting is an electoral An election is a formal group decision-makingGroup decision-making (also known as collaborative decision-making or collective decision-making) is a situation faced when individuals collectively make a choice ...
, which tends to elect candidates that do not support
centrism Centrism is a politics, political outlook or position that involves acceptance and/or support of a balance of Egalitarianism, social equality and a degree of Social stratification, social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would ...
, and tends to produce a
two-party system A two-party system is a Politics, political party system in which two major party, major political parties consistently dominate the political landscape. At any point in time, one of the two parties typically holds a majority in the legislature ...
. One of many other procedures to a single-vote system is
approval voting Approval voting is a single-winner electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral syste ...
. To understand why a single vote per race tends to favour less centric candidates, consider a simple lab experiment where students in a class vote for their favourite marble. If five marbles are assigned names and are placed "up for election", and if three of them are green, one is red, and one is blue, then a green marble will rarely win the election. The reason is that the three green marbles will split the votes of those who prefer green. In fact, in this analogy, the only way that a green marble is likely to win is if more than sixty per cent of the voters prefer green. If the same percentage of people prefer green as those who prefer red and blue, that is to say, if 33 per cent of the voters prefer green, 33 per cent prefer blue, and 33 per cent prefer red, then each green marble will only get eleven per cent of the vote, while the red and blue marbles will each get 33 per cent, putting the green marbles at a serious disadvantage. If the experiment is repeated with other colours, the colour that is in the majority will still rarely win. In other words, from a purely mathematical perspective, a single-vote system tends to favour a winner that is different from the majority. With
approval voting Approval voting is a single-winner electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral syste ...
, voters are encouraged to vote for as many candidates as they approve of, so the winner is much more likely to be any one of the five marbles because people who prefer green will be able to vote for every one of the green marbles. A development on the 'single vote' system is to have two-round elections, or repeat
first-past-the-post In a first-past-the-post electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral systems are org ...
. This system is most common around the world. In most cases, the winner must receive a majority, which is more than half. and if no candidate obtains a majority at the first round, then the two candidates with the largest plurality are selected for the second round. Variants exist on these two points: the requirement for being elected at the first round is sometimes less than 50%, and the rules for participation in the runoff may vary. A third procedure is a single round
instant-runoff voting Instant-runoff voting (IRV) is a type of Ranked voting, ranked preferential electoral system, vote counting method used in single-seat elections with more than two candidates. IRV is also sometimes referred to as the alternative vote (AV), pre ...
system (Also referred to as ''Alternative vote'' or ''Single Transferable Vote'' or ''
Preferential voting Preferential voting or preference voting (PV) may refer to different Electoral system, election systems or groups of election systems: * Ranked voting methods, all election methods that involve ranking candidates in order of preference (United Sta ...
'') as used in some elections in Australia, the United States and, in its PR format, in Ireland. Voters rank each candidate in order of preference (1,2,3,4 etc.). Votes are distributed to each candidate according to the preferences allocated. If no single candidate has 50% of the vote, then the candidate with the fewest votes is excluded and their votes redistributed according to the voter's nominated order of preference. The process repeating itself until a candidate has 50% or more votes. The system is designed to produce the same result as an
exhaustive ballot The exhaustive ballot is a voting system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral systems are organized by govern ...
but using only a single round of voting. In its PR format, PR-STV, in say a four-seater constituency, every candidate with a quota of 1st preferences will be elected. A quota in this instance is 20% + 1 of the valid vote. If a candidate has more than a quota, his/her surplus will be distributed to the other candidates, in proportion to all of that candidate's 2nd preferences. If there are still candidates to be elected, the least popular is eliminated, as above in AV or IRV, and the process continues until four candidates have reached a quota. In the Quota Borda System, QBS, Emerson P (2012) the voters also cast their preferences, 1,2,3,4... as they wish. In the analysis, all 1st preferences are counted; all 2nd preferences are counted; and after these preferences have been translated into points as per the rules of an MBC, the candidates' points are also counted. Seats are awarded to any candidates with a quota of 1st preferences; to any pair of candidates with two quotas of 1st/2nd preferences; and if seats are still to be filled, to those candidates with the highest MBC scores. In a voting system that uses ''multiple votes'', the voter can vote for any subset of the alternatives. So, a voter might vote for Alice, Bob, and Charlie, rejecting Daniel and Emily.
Approval voting Approval voting is a single-winner electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral syste ...
uses such multiple votes. In a voting system that uses a ''ranked vote'', the voter has to rank the alternatives in order of preference. For example, they might vote for Bob in the first place, then Emily, then Alice, then Daniel, and finally Charlie.
Ranked voting systems Ranked voting is any election voting system in which voters use a ranked (or preferential) ballot to select more than one candidate (or other alternative being voted on) and to ranking, rank these choices in a sequence on the Level of measurement#Or ...
, such as those used in Australia and Ireland, use a ranked vote. In a voting system that uses a ''scored vote'' (or ''range vote''), the voter gives each alternative a number between one and ten (the upper and lower bounds may vary). See cardinal voting systems. Some "multiple-winner" systems such as the Single Non-Transferable Vote, SNTV, used in Afghanistan may have a single vote or one vote per elector per available position. In such a case the elector could vote for Bob and Charlie on a ballot with two votes. These types of systems can use ranked or unranked voting and are often used for
at-large At-large is a description for members of a governing body who are elect An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold public office.
positions such as on some city councils. Finally, the Condorcet rule, used (if at all) in decision-making. The voters or elected representatives cast their preferences on one, some or all options, 1,2,3,4... as in PR-STV or QBS. In the analysis, option A is compared to option B, and if A is more popular than B, then A wins this pairing. Next, A is compared with option C, then D, and so on. Likewise, B is compared with C, with D etc. The option which wins the most pairings, (if there is one), is the Condorcet winner.


Referendums

When the citizens of a country are invited to vote, it is for an
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...

election
. However, people can also vote in
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...

referendum
s and
initiative In political science, an initiative (also known as a popular initiative or citizens' initiative) is a means by which a petition signed by a certain number of Voter registration, registered voters can force a government to choose either to enac ...
s. Since the end of the eighteenth century, more than five hundred national referendums (including initiatives) were organized in the world; among them, more than three hundred were held in
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...
.
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
ranked second with dozens of referendums. Most referendums are binary. The first multi-option referendum was held in New Zealand in 1894, and most of them are conducted under a two-round system. New Zealand had a five-option referendum in 1992, while Guam had a six-option plebiscite in 1982, which also offered a blank option, in case some voters wanted to (campaign and) vote for a seventh option.


Fair voting

Results may lead at best to confusion, at worst to violence and even
civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independen ...
, in the case of political rivals. Many alternatives may fall in the latitude of indifference—they are neither accepted nor rejected. Avoiding the choice that most people strongly reject may sometimes be as important as choosing the one they most favour. There are
social choice theory Social choice theory or social choice is a theoretical A theory is a rational Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agreeable to reason Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense o ...
definitions of seemingly reasonable criteria that are a measure of the fairness of certain aspects of voting, including non-dictatorship, unrestricted domain, non-imposition,
Pareto efficiency Pareto efficiency or Pareto optimality is a situation where no individual or preference criterion can be better off without making at least one individual or preference criterion worse off or without any loss thereof. The concept is named after Vi ...
, and
independence of irrelevant alternatives The independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIA), also known as binary independence or the independence axiom, is an axiom of decision theory and various social sciences. The term is used in different connotation in several contexts. Although it al ...
but
Arrow's impossibility theorem#REDIRECT Arrow's impossibility theorem#REDIRECT Arrow's impossibility theorem {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
states that no voting system can meet all these standards. To ensure fair voting and preventing the misuse of the microblogging platform,
Twitter Twitter is an American microblogging Microblogging is an online Broadcasting, broadcast medium that exists as a specific form of blogging. A micro-blog differs from a traditional blog in that its content is typically smaller in both actu ...

Twitter
announced adding a feature for users to report content that misleads voters. This announcement came when general elections are going to be held in India and some other countries.


Negative voting

Negative voting allows a vote that expresses disapproval of a candidate. For explanatory purposes, consider a hypothetical voting system that uses negative voting. In this system, one vote is allowed, with the choice of either for a candidate or against a candidate. Each positive vote adds one to a candidate's overall total, while a negative vote subtracts one, arriving at a net favorability. The candidate with the highest net favorability is the winner. Note that not only is a negative total possible, but also, a candidate may even be elected with 0 votes if enough negative votes are cast against their opponents. Under this implementation, negative voting is no different from a positive voting system, when only two candidates are on the ballot. However, in the case of three or more candidates, each negative vote for a candidate counts positively towards all of the other candidates. Consider the following example: Three candidates are running for the same seat. Two hypothetical election results are given, contrasting positive and negative voting. Both polling accuracy and voter turnout are assumed to be 100 per cent.
Election results with positive voting: A-voters, with the clear advantage of 40%, logically vote for Candidate A. B-voters, unconfident of their candidate's chances, split their votes exactly in half, giving both Candidates A and C 15% each. C-voters, also logically vote for their candidate. A is the winner with 55%, C at 45%, and B 0%. Election results with negative voting: A-voters again, with the clear advantage of 40%, logically vote for Candidate A. B-voters, split exactly in half. Each B-voter decides to vote negatively against their least favourite candidate, with the reasoning that this negative vote allows them to express approval for the two other candidates. C-voters also decide to vote negatively against Candidate A, reasoning along similar lines. Candidate B is the winner with 0 votes. Enough negative votes were cast against Candidate B's opponents, resulting in negative totals. Candidate A, despite having polled at 40%, winds up with -5%, offset due to the aggregate 45% of negative votes cast by B and C voters. Candidate C ends up with -15%.


Proxy voting

Proxy voting is the type of voting where a registered citizen who can vote passes on his or her vote to a different voter or electorate legitimately.


Anti-voting

In
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
, there is a strong presence of anti-voting campaigns by poor citizens. They make the structural argument that no political party truly represents them. For instance, this resulted in the "
No Land! No House! No Vote! No Land! No House! No Vote! is the name of a campaign by a number of poor people's movements in South Africa that calls for the boycotting of the vote and a general rejection of party politics and Votebank, vote banking. The name is meant to impl ...
" A campaign that becomes very prominent each time the country holds elections. The campaign is prominent among three of South Africa's largest social movements: the
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign is a non-racial popular movement made up of poor and oppressed communities in Cape Town Cape Town (Afrikaans File:WIKITONGUES- Alaric speaking Afrikaans.webm, Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans ...
, Abahlali baseMjondolo, and the Landless Peoples Movement. Other social movements in other parts of the world also have similar campaigns or non-voting preferences. These include the
Zapatista Army of National Liberation The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (''Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional'', EZLN), often referred to as the Zapatistas (), is a libertarian socialist political and militant group that controls a substantial amount of territory in ...
and various
anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. Anarchism calls for the abolition of the State (polity), state, which it holds to ...

anarchist
-oriented movements. It is possible to make a blank vote, carrying out the act of voting, which may be compulsory, without selecting any candidate or option, often as an act of protest. In some jurisdictions, there is an official
none of the above "None of the above", or NOTA for short, also known as "against all" or a "scratch" vote, is a ballot option in some jurisdictions or organizations, designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of the candidates in a voting system. It i ...
option and it is counted as a valid vote. Usually, blank and null votes are counted (together or separately) but are not considered valid.


Voting and information

Modern political science has questioned whether
average In colloquial language, an average is a single number taken as representative of a non-empty list of numbers. Different concepts of average are used in different contexts. Often "average" refers to the arithmetic mean, the sum of the numbers divide ...

average
citizens have sufficient political information to cast meaningful votes. A series of studies coming out of the
University of Michigan , mottoeng = "Arts, Knowledge, Truth" , former_names = Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania (1817–1821) , budget = $8.99 billion (2018) , endowment = $17 billion (2021)As of October 25, 2021. ...

University of Michigan
in the 1950s and 1960s argued that voters lack a basic understanding of current issues, the
liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...

liberal
conservative Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aest ...
ideological An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belief" to refer to attitudes abo ...
dimension, and the relative ideological dilemma. Studies from other institutions have suggested that the physical appearance of candidates is a criterion upon which voters base their decision.


Religious views

Christadelphians The Christadelphians (; or Christadelphianism) are a restorationist and millenarian Christian group who hold a view of biblical unitarianism. There are approximately 50,000 Christadelphians in around 120 countries. The movement developed in ...
,
Jehovah's Witnesses Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian Millenarianism (also millenarism), from Latin ''mīllēnārius'' "containing a thousand", is the belief by a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious ...
,
Old Order Amish
Old Order Amish
, Rastafarians, the
Assemblies of Yahweh The Assemblies of Yahweh is a nonprofit religious organization with its international headquarters in Bethel, Pennsylvania, United States. The organization developed independently out of a radio ministry begun by Jacob O. Meyer in 1966.''Histor ...
, and some other religious groups, have a policy of not participating in politics through voting. Rabbis from all
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...

Jewish
denominations encourage voting; some even consider it a religious obligation.


Meetings and gatherings

Whenever several people who do not all agree need to make some decision, voting is a very common way of reaching a decision peacefully. The right to vote is usually restricted to certain people. Members of a society or club, or shareholders of a company, but not outsiders, may elect its officers, or adopt or change its rules, in a similar way to the election of people to official positions. A panel of judges, either formal judicial authorities or judges of the competition, may decide by voting. A group of friends or members of a family may decide which film to see by voting. The method of voting can range from formal submission of written votes, through
show of hands
show of hands
, voice voting or
audience response Audience response is a type of interaction associated with the use of audience response systems, to create interactivity between a presenter and its audience An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art ...
systems, to informally noting which outcome seems to be preferred by more people.


Voting basis

According to
Robert's Rules of Order ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'', commonly referred to as ''Robert's Rules of Order'', RONR, or simply ''Robert's Rules'', is a political book based on the original Robert's Rules of Order written by Henry Martyn Robert Henry Martyn Ro ...
, a widely used guide to
parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the accepted rules Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social grou ...
, the bases for determining the voting result consist of two elements: (1) the percentage of votes that are required for a proposal to be adopted or for a candidate to be elected (e.g. more than half, two-thirds, three-quarters, etc.); and (2) the set of members to which the proportion applies (e.g. the members present and voting, the members present, the entire membership of the organization, the entire electorate, etc.). An example is a majority vote of the members present and voting. The voting result could also be determined using a
plurality Plurality may refer to: Voting * Plurality (voting), the most votes for any choice in an election, but not necessarily a majority ** Plurality voting, system in which each voter votes for one candidate and the candidate with a plurality is elected ...
, or the most votes among the choices. In addition, a decision could be made without a formal vote by using
unanimous consent In parliamentary procedure, unanimous consent, also known as general consent, or in the case of the parliaments under the Westminster system, leave of the house (or leave of the senate), is a situation in which no member present objects to a prop ...
. A voting method is the way in which people cast their votes in an
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...

election
or
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...

referendum
. There are several different methods in use around the world.


Voting methods in deliberative assemblies

Deliberative assemblies—bodies that use
parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the accepted rules Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social grou ...
to arrive at
decisions
decisions
—use several methods of voting on
motions 300px, Motion involves a change in position In physics, motion is the phenomenon in which an object changes its position over time. Motion is mathematically described in terms of displacement, distance Distance is a numerical measurement of ...
(formal proposal by a member or members of a deliberative assembly that the assembly takes certain action). The regular methods of voting in such bodies are a voice vote, a rising vote, and a show of hands. Additional forms of voting include a recorded vote and balloting. The assembly could decide on the voting method by adopting a motion on it. Different legislatures may have their voting methods.


Voting methods


Paper-based methods

The most common voting method uses paper
ballot A ballot is a device used to cast votes in an election and may be found as a piece of paper or a small ball used in secret . It was originally a small ball (see ) used to record decisions made by voters in Italy around the 16th century. Each v ...

ballot
s on which voters mark their preferences. This may involve marking their support for a candidate or party listed on the ballot, or a
write-in A write-in candidate is a candidate whose name does not appear on the ballot but seeks election by asking voters to cast a vote Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an electorate, in order to make a collective decision or expr ...
, where they write out the name of their preferred candidate if it is not listed. An alternative paper-based system known as
ballot letters Elections in Israel are based on nationwide proportional representation. The electoral threshold is currently set at 3.25%, with the number of seats a party receives in the Knesset being proportional to the number of votes it receives. The Knesset ...
is used in
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
, where polling booths contain a tray with ballots for each party contesting the elections; the ballots are marked with the letter(s) assigned to that party. Voters are given an envelope into which they put the ballot of the party they wish to vote for, before placing the envelope in the
ballot box A ballot box is a temporarily sealed container, usually a square box though sometimes a tamper resistant Tamperproofing, conceptually, is a methodology used to hinder, deter or detect unauthorised access to a device or circumvention of a securit ...

ballot box
. The same system is also implemented in
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic re ...

Latvia
.


Machine voting

Machine voting uses
voting machine A voting machine is a machine used to record votes without paper. The first voting machines were mechanical but it is increasingly more common to use electronic voting Electronic voting (also known as e-voting) is voting Voting is a method ...

voting machine
s, which may be manual (e.g. lever machines) or
electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active devices to control electron flow b ...

electronic
.


Online voting

In some countries, people are allowed to vote online. Estonia was one of the first countries to use
online voting Electronic voting (also known as e-voting) is voting that uses Electronics, electronic means to either aid or take care of casting and counting votes. Depending on the particular implementation, e-voting may use standalone electronic voting machi ...
: it was first used in the 2005 local elections.


Postal voting

Many countries allow
postal voting Ballot and other documents for postal voting for the 2015 Luxembourg constitutional referendum Postal voting is voting Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an Constituency, electorate, in order to make a collective decisio ...

postal voting
, where voters are sent a ballot and return it by post.


Open ballot

In contrast to a
secret ballot The secret ballot, also known as the Australian ballot, is a voting method in which a voter Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an Constituency, electorate, in order to make a collective decision making, decision or expres ...
, an open ballot takes place in public and is commonly done by a show of hands. An example is the
Landsgemeinde The ''Landsgemeinde'' () or "cantonal assembly" is a public, non-secret ballot voting system operating by majority rule, which constitutes one of the oldest forms of direct democracy. Still at use – in a few places – at the Subdivisions of S ...
system in Switzerland, which is still in use in the
cantons A canton is a type of administrative division of a country. In general, cantons are relatively small in terms of area and population when compared with other administrative divisions such as county, counties, Department (administrative division), ...
of
Appenzell Innerrhoden Appenzell Innerrhoden (; in English sometimes Appenzell Inner-Rhodes) is one of the Canton of Switzerland, 26 cantons forming the Switzerland, Swiss Confederation. It is composed of six districts. The seat of the government and parliament is App ...
,
Glarus , neighboring_municipalities= Glarus Nord Glarus Nord is one of three municipalities A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administr ...
,
Grisons The Grisons or Graubünden, *german: (Kanton) Graubünden, Swiss Standard German Swiss Standard German (german: Schweizer Standarddeutsch), or Swiss High German (german: Schweizer Hochdeutsch or ''Schweizerhochdeutsch''), referred to by the S ...
, and
Schwyz The town of Schwyz (; french: Schwytz; it, Svitto) is the capital of the canton of Schwyz in Switzerland. The Federal Charter of 1291 or ''Bundesbrief'', the charter that eventually led to the foundation of Switzerland, can be seen at the '' ...
.


Other methods

In
The Gambia The Gambia (), officially the Republic of The Gambia, is a country in West Africa. It is the smallest country within mainland AfricaHoare, Ben. (2002) ''The Kingfisher A-Z Encyclopedia'', Kingfisher Publications. p. 11. . and is surrounded by ...
, voting is carried out using marbles, a method introduced in 1965 to deal with
illiteracy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (ph ...
.Gambians vote with their marbles
BBC News, 22 September 2006
Polling stations contain metal drums painted in party colours and emblems with candidates' photos attached to them. Voters are given a marble to place in the drum of their chosen candidate; when dropped into the drum, a bell sounds to register the vote. To avoid confusion, bicycles are banned near polling booths on election day. If the marble is left on top of the drum rather than placed in it, the vote is deemed invalid.Gambia election: Voters use marbles to choose president
BBC News, 30 November 2016
A similar system used in social clubs sees voters given a white ball to indicate support and a black ball to indicate opposition. This led to the coining of the term
blackballing One of the earliest American ballot boxes using ballottas. This ballot box was used by members of the Association of the Oldest Inhabitants of the District of Columbia, a social club. Blackballing is a rejection in a traditional form of secret bal ...
.


In person

Some votes are carried in person if all the people eligible to vote are present. This could be by a show of hands or keypad polling.


See also


References


External links


A history of voting in the United States
from the
Smithsonian Institution The Smithsonian Institution ( ), or simply, the Smithsonian, is a group of museums and education and research centers, the largest such complex in the world, created by the U.S. government "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge". Founded ...

Smithsonian Institution
.
A New Nation Votes: American Elections Returns 1787-1825Can I Vote?
a nonpartisan US resource for registering to vote and finding your polling place from th
National Association of Secretaries of State

The Canadian Museum of Civilization — A History of the Vote in Canada
* This contains a brief history of voting in
Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era wa ...
and
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...
; see also . * {{Authority control Elections
Parliamentary procedure__NOGALLERY__ {{Portal, Politics The category contains articles concerning deliberative assembly, deliberative assemblies, parliamentary procedure, rules of order, legislative procedure etc. Group decision-making Legislatures Meetings Political law ...