Cover Story

Here’s why your vote is a secret




















The process in the diagram is explained as follows:

Election clerks
1. First elections clerk (LC#1) collects your IC, reads out your name and IC number and crosses out your name from the electoral list (EL).
2. LC#2 paints your finger
3. LC#3 tears out ballot paper, stamps it and issues it to you

* LC#2 and LC#3 don’t have anything to scribble or write anything on the ballot paper
* if they do, you should reject the ballot paper
* if there are no linkage between EL and ballot paper, your ballot paper is not traceable

1. Polling and counting agents (PACA) are placed at the voting centre to monitor the voting process
2. With PACAs around, your vote will be counted properly and ensured that no marking besides yours will be made on the ballot paper
3. PACAs ensures that the voting process will be fair, transparent and according to the rules e.g. no stuffing of ballot box with pre-marked ballot papers for any parties or marking on any ballot papers
1. PACAs also ensures that your vote will be kept in a non-tampered, signed and sealed bag that no one is allowed to open till its disposal 6 months later

Ballot paper
1. Come in stacks of 50/100-pieces bundle that are detachable from the ballot paper counterfoil (butt).
2. Its serial number is large in denomination e.g. 123451 to 123500.
1. Not marked with any jottings. During vote counting, PACAs will ensure there are no jottings except your markings on the ballot paper.

Electoral list (EL)
1. Filled with your details i.e. old and new IC numbers, polling stream number, localised sequence number.
2. The localised sequence number is small denomination and follows the number of voters in that stream
3. EL usually contains more than 100 voters in a polling stream.
1. Ballot paper serial numbers and EL sequence numbers don’t correspond to each other.

Voting Sequence
1. On voting day, voters come in random order to the EL’s sequence number.
Example – voter A (no.1 on the EL sequence) comes in at 8 am and is issued ballot paper no.120001, voter B (no.2 on EL) comes in at 4 pm and gets ballot paper no. 120098 (i.e. ballot paper no#98 for that polling stream).
2. Hence the EL and ballot papers are not linked.
3. Since voters come in to vote not according to the EL sequence, LC#1 and LC#3 can’t note which voter took what ballot paper. EL list becomes random to the ballot paper serial number

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