Voting on Election Day

Voting on Election Day

Polling stations

The local authority shall advertise the whereabouts of polling stations with sufficient notice in the way in which public notices are normally made.

Beginning and end of polling

Beginning: Polling stations shall be opened during the period 9-12 noon; the local authority or senior electoral commission shall advertise the exact opening time with suitable advance notice.

End: The general rule is that a polling session may not be ended until eight hours have elapsed since it began and not until half an hour has elapsed since the last voter came to vote. However, as an exception from this main rule, it is permitted to end a polling session if all those who are on the Voter's Register have cast their votes, and after five hours if all the members of the electoral commission and agents agree, providing that half an hour has passed since the last voter came to vote. Polling sessions shall, however, be ended not later than 22.00 hours on Election Day.

What is the voting procedure at a polling session?

In the election room

Voters shall cast their votes in the order in which they arrive. The election management may decide that apart from the persons working on the conduct of the elections, no one apart from voters who intend to cast votes is allowed in the election room.

Establishing identity

Each voter shall establish his identity by producing an identification document or ID card, or in another manner accepted as satisfactory in the opinion of the election management. By "identification document" is meant a personal identification certificate including a photograph, such as a passport, driver's licence, bank card or credit card. If he has the right to vote, he shall then receive one ballot paper.

In the polling booth: using the ballot paper

After receiving the ballot paper, the voter goes into the polling booth. It shall contain a table on which there shall be at least two ordinary dark writing pencils that are properly sharpened. The voter casts his vote by making a cross in pencil on the ballot paper in front of the letter of the list for which he wishes to vote.

The polling booth shall also contain a card of the same size as a ballot paper with raised list letters and Braille lettering, with a window in front of each letter and a pocket on the reverse so that blind people can make a cross through the window in front of the list for which they are voting, so casting their vote in private and without assistance.

Markings and other changes made to the ballot paper

If a voter wishes to change the ranking of candidates in the list for which he votes, he may do so by putting a 1 in front of the name he wishes to place at the top, a 2 in front of the name he wishes to have in second place, a 3 in front of the name he wishes to have in third place, etc.

If a voter wishes to reject candidates on the list for which he is voting, he may cross their names out.

Voters may not make any marks or changes in the lists for which they are not voting. They may neither cross out names on those lists nor alter the ranking of the names. Making such changes will invalidate the ballot paper.

No matter how they vote, voters must be careful not to make any marks on the ballot paper other than those described above. Such marks could result in the ballot paper being invalidated.

At the ballot box

When the voter has marked his ballot paper as described above, he folds it together the same way that it was folded when it was handed to him, with the printed surfaces facing inwards, goes out of the polling booth and up to the polling box and puts the ballot paper into the box in the presence of the election officials. The voter shall ensure that no one can see how he has voted. Then, after putting his ballot paper into the ballot box, he leaves the election room.

Voters requiring assistance

If a voter informs the election officials that he is not able to vote in the prescribed manner due to poor sight or some other disability, the person he names from among the election officials shall assist him in the polling booth. The person who gives the assistance shall be bound by an oath of secrecy not to divulge what passes between them in the polling booth. However, assistance may only be given if the voter himself is able to tell the person providing assistance unequivocally how he wishes to vote. The voter himself must request the assistance.

The right to receive a new ballot paper

If a voter lets other people see how he has voted, his ballot paper shall be invalid and may not be put into the ballot box. If a voter makes a mistake or puts the wrong mark on the paper, or scribbles on the paper by mistake, he shall be entitled to have a new ballot paper. He shall then hand the first ballot paper back to the election officials.


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