When I voted in New York (Brooklyn, but presumably ballots are similar statewide), I had my named crossed out in a book so that I couldn't vote twice (I assume). They then removed a sticker from my ballot and placed it next to my name. Then I voted, fed it into the machine, etc.

This sticker with a code seems like it could be used to deanonymize voters. What is its purpose?

  • Did you not have to sign the book next to a copy of your signature from your registration form? I always have to (also in Brooklyn).
    – phoog
    Dec 4 '16 at 6:03
  • I'm not sure if knowing this is relevant to answering your question, but is this your voting machine?
    – Bobson
    Dec 4 '16 at 16:51
  • @Bobson that looks like the machine I've used since New York stopped using mechanical machines.
    – phoog
    Apr 21 '17 at 16:37

If you were to look closely at the codes, you would find that they are not individually unique. The code only represents the specific version or format of the ballot you voted on. This is tracked because people who live in different local election districts will often be voting at the same precinct. The codes simply verify that the person, based on their address, was given the correct version of the ballot.

(Source from Washington state, but the same presumably applies in other states.)


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