Types of Voting Ballots

Published on: Mar 21 2016 by Shenron

You will be surprised to know that the voting system was first developed 2,500 years ago when first votes were cast in ancient Greece. A system for casting a vote used at that time is presently known as Caucus. Nowadays, several different systems for vote casting are used all over the world. These voting systems have been devised by the governments or official bodies to encourage the participation of majority of the people in electing governing bodies for the country. Casting a vote is a right of every citizen and it is a sole responsibility of every citizen to use this right in an effective way to keep the government from dictatorship.

Vote is a big responsibility on behalf of every citizen and using it in a right way is all important. Vote is your power through which you choose your elected members of the state. Always vote the people you think will best serve the nation as well as work hard in making the state proper. Democracy, representative legislators, republican forms are all different types of government and all are formed when you cast your vote.

Following are given some of the different types of voting ballots:

Paper Ballots

It is a kind of uniform official ballots wherein a slip of paper containing the printed names of all the candidates and issues is used to mark your vote. Each and every voter is given with that stock weight and he/she marks his/her candidate name or issue in private and inserts that slip into the sealed ballot box.

The paper balloting system was first introduced in 1856 in the Australian state of Victoria. Later, it was introduced on other states of Australia as well. Since, then paper balloting is often referred to as ‘Australian ballot’. In 1889, paper ballot was first introduced in the American state of New York.

During the 1996, the paper ballots were used by 1.7% of the registered American voters. Paper ballot is still used as a basic voting system in rural areas and communities. It is also used in for absentee ballots in certain other states.

Absentee ballot

It is a kind of voting system where a vote is cast by the voter who is not willing or not able to cast his/her vote at any voting station. There are several different methods used to implement absentee ballot. In many countries, this voting system is appreciated in a view to increase the voter turnout. However, there are many countries where a solid reason is required to allow the voter to cast his/her vote in an absentee ballot.

Provisional ballot

When there is ambiguity in the eligibility of a voter in regard to record a vote, provisional ballot system is used. Following are the conditions to cast a provisional ballot:

  • When a voter declines to show his/her photo ID where it is mandatory.
  • When the name of the voter is not mentioned in the electoral roll for particular territory.
  • The registration of a voter has inaccurate or faulty information like invalid address or wrong name.
  • It appears that the voter has already cast his/her vote.

The voter’s vote is considered only when the eligibility of the voter is proved or verified. Normally, a provisional ballot is not considered for at least 7-10days past the election date. So, unless and until the eligibility is not verified, his/her vote doesn’t have any impact on the election process.

Affidavit Ballot

Affidavit ballots are closely associated with provisional ballots, therefore often referred to as affidavit ballots. This is used in the United States when a voter’s right to cast a vote is ambiguous.

A right to record a provisional ballot is guaranteed by the Help America Vote Act 2002. An affidavit is provided by the voter to claim that he/she has the right to vote and record his vote by filling up a ballot and enclosed it in an envelope. Later, the Board of Elections verifies the eligibility of the voter and count his/her vote if found eligible.


People often have misconception that their vote may not be counted. This is totally a wrong belief, each and every vote matters a lot and your vote has the same power as that of the other voters in your community or district.

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