guarantee that your secret vote is protected is a ballot
box so smiling presidents, premiers and politicians
imply as they drop folded ballot papers into a ballot box
would have us believe.
A ballot box
can only protect your secret vote if designed to do so.
only one slit for inserting ballot papers
It has a
narrow slit to prevent insertion of more than one paper
no secret panel at the bottom
It is in
one piece without fastenings that can be fiddled
continuously supervised without distraction.
None of these rules have been rigorously observed in
Australian elections, which used indestructible metal boxes
A glass box,
as used in French presidential elections, is unknown.
A ballot box
can only protect your secret vote if no other pairs of hands
have touched it but yours.
pairs of hands touch your ballot paper in a polling booth:
Pre-polling voting if the ballot box is behind the
voting if the official puts your vote in its envelope
voting if the ballot box is behind the counter
are being cast outside the protection of the ballot box:
votes where ballots pass through 12 pairs of hands
voters where others may fill out ballot papers
votes where leaders collect and fill out ballot papers
votes in transit over distances by various means.
A ballot box can
only protect the value of your vote
if extra votes are not added or others removed during
voting in false names, adding photo-copied ballot papers
voting in genuine names
intrusion or theft of votes by corrupt officials.
box was once a security against all electoral fraud
when ballot papers only passed through one pair of
hands. But your vote is at risk today if you are voting in a