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What is ballot paper ?

Last updated date: 12th Jul 2024
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 A ballot paper is actually a device meant for casting votes in an election, and maybe a piece of paper or a small ball used in secret voting. The word ballot derives from an Italian ‘ballotta’, which means a small ball used in voting or a secret vote taken by ballots in the city of Venice, Italy It is a printed form upon which voters mark their choices in an election. The choices are then tabulated and the ballot paper is stored for review should the election’s results be questioned. It was originally a small ball used to record decisions made by voters. Each voter uses one ballot, and ballots are not shared. 

During the simplest elections, a ballot is barely a simple scrap of paper in which the name of the respective candidate is writing by each voter. But during governmental elections, use of pre-printed ballots is must for protecting the secrecy of the votes. The voter casts their ballot in a box at a polling station. The ballot paper is also called Paper ballot in British English. During historical times in India, say around 920, it is said that Palm leaves were used for village assembly elections in the state of Tamil Nadu. They used to give palm leaves with candidate names, which would be then put inside a mud pot, for counting. This was called Kudavolai system. Now most of the places, they are replaced by EVM (Electronic Voting Machine).