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A ballot is a device used to cast votes in an election, and may be a piece of paper or a small ball used in secret voting.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> It was originally a small ball (see blackballing) used to record decisions made by voters.

Each voter uses one ballot, and ballots are not shared. In the simplest elections, a ballot may be a simple scrap of paper on which each voter writes in the name of a candidate, but governmental elections use pre-printed to protect the secrecy of the votes. The voter casts his/her ballot in a box at a polling station.

In British English, this is usually called a "ballot paper".<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The word ballot is used for an election process within an organisation (such as a trade union "holding a ballot" of its members).


Ballot sections
Intro  Etymology  History  Types of voting systems  Design  Methods  Further reading  See also  References  

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