112 votes
Accepted

Why are congressional votes not secret?

Because Congress is accountable to their constituents. You are only accountable to yourself. If how they vote is secret, there's no way of holding them to the promises they made. They could just say &...
  • 4,105
60 votes

Ballot Secrecy - is it a Voter's Privilege or a Voter's Obligation?

At least for those systems inheriting from British tradition and the Ballot Act 1872 the secret ballot was introduced a fraud mitigation exercise to protect against personal bribery & intimidation ...
  • 20.7k
54 votes

Ballot Secrecy - is it a Voter's Privilege or a Voter's Obligation?

Both. Ballot secrecy is a voters' privilege that prevents others from threatening harm for failing to vote a certain way. No one can know how they voted for sure so they cannot do them harm based on ...
  • 3,522
42 votes

Ballot Secrecy - is it a Voter's Privilege or a Voter's Obligation?

Secrecy cannot be both a privilege and a choice. If secrecy is not available, then it is obvious that retaliation based on the actual votes could take place. If secrecy is optional, then retaliation ...
  • 711
38 votes

Are there proposals for preserving ballot secrecy when a candidate scores 100% in a very small polling station?

By your reasoning, polling stations would have to be big enough to make a "mixed" outcome highly likely. That goes against the principle that polling stations should be local if possible, ...
  • 90.4k
34 votes

Are there proposals for preserving ballot secrecy when a candidate scores 100% in a very small polling station?

The secret ballot is a design principle with various procedures and rules that flow from that principle. But, it is not a rule of independent legal force itself, so it can't be violated when quirky ...
  • 57.7k
25 votes
Accepted

Why is the Speaker of the House of Commons (UK) elected by secret ballot?

The rule was introduced in 2001, following the 2000 election of Michael Martin. That election took place "by means of a conventional parliamentary motion with recorded votes on an amendment for each ...
  • 1,331
14 votes
Accepted

What European countries have secret voting within the Legislature?

The EU parliament itself seems to have a procedure to use secret ballots in some cases: Normally MEPs vote by show of hands, and the President of the sitting determines the majorities in each case. ...
13 votes

Ballot Secrecy - is it a Voter's Privilege or a Voter's Obligation?

I'm not going to get into the philosophical arguments, but I'm going to point out the relevant statutes. Section 1306 of Pennsylvania's Election Code sets out the procedure required for an absentee ...
  • 27.7k
12 votes
Accepted

Could the Senate legally hold an impeachment conviction vote in secret?

Could the Senate legally hold an impeachment conviction vote in secret? Under current rules, no. RULES OF PROCEDURE AND PRACTICE IN THE SENATE WHEN SITTING ON IMPEACHMENT TRIALS XIV. The Secretary ...
  • 28.8k
12 votes

Are there proposals for preserving ballot secrecy when a candidate scores 100% in a very small polling station?

Ballots are secret to prevent powerful people from applying economic and social pressure on a large scale: e.g., so that someone like (say) Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk cannot threaten to fire any of the ...
11 votes
Accepted

Why are electoral college votes not secret?

Could a state decide to make it secret by allowing electors to, for instance, stick their ballots into a box and shuffle them before being counted? In some states, they are secret (or at least have ...
  • 88.5k
11 votes

Ballot Secrecy - is it a Voter's Privilege or a Voter's Obligation?

For what it's worth, the obligation of the voter to keep his ballot secret is part of the reason why cameras are prohibited in polling stations. Part of the reason for that prohibition is to protect ...
  • 1,476
9 votes

What European countries have secret voting within the Legislature?

Which other European countries have secret voting by representatives in the national legislature? There are countries where (at least some) votes by representatives in the national legislature are ...
  • 37.9k
9 votes

Who voted for anonymity in the vote on transparency in the European Parliament?

According to this source (German newspaper), the German part of the EVP (CDU/CSU) voted for anonymous votes. Which isn't surprising, as this party tends to favor companies who coincidentally gifted ...
  • 980
7 votes

Why is the Speaker of the House of Commons (UK) elected by secret ballot?

I suspect, but have not yet found a smoking gun, that the answer lies in the previous election in 2000: This was the last Speaker election to be conducted by means of a conventional parliamentary ...
  • 4,190
6 votes

Are there proposals for preserving ballot secrecy when a candidate scores 100% in a very small polling station?

You could print 10000 fake votes for each candidate, shuffle them and deliver them to all the polling stations. At the end, you just subtract 10000 from the state result of each candidate. If this is ...
6 votes

Are there proposals for preserving ballot secrecy when a candidate scores 100% in a very small polling station?

I doubt it's literally illegal, but I do agree this effectively makes votes not anonymous. Its hard to argue otherwise since we know each person's vote. And this is a problem, because if voting isn't ...
  • 160
6 votes

Are there proposals for preserving ballot secrecy when a candidate scores 100% in a very small polling station?

This problem is well known and doesn't have a simple solution that makes everyone happy. One commonly applied solution (apparently not in the USA, though) is to not publish results from small ...
  • 4,491
5 votes

What European countries have secret voting within the Legislature?

Like The Netherlands, Belgium has provisions for secret voting ('geheime stemming' in Dutch) in the rules of the federal parliament Relevant passages: art. 58 2) De stemming bij naamafroeping ...
  • 1,733
4 votes

What European countries have secret voting within the Legislature?

The UK Parliament (in both chambers) also has voting by voice. Indeed, divisions - where the members troop into the lobbies to be counted for or against - are preceded by a voice vote, and the ...
  • 41
3 votes

Why are congressional votes not secret?

Constitutional mandate plus the momentum of tradition Article 1, Section 5, third paragraph of the constitution reads: Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time ...
3 votes

Ballot Secrecy - is it a Voter's Privilege or a Voter's Obligation?

The question implies ballot secrecy must be one or both of two things. To the contrary, in a Democracy it is neither of those things. Ballot secrecy is not a voter's privilege: in a Democracy ...
  • 12.5k
3 votes
Accepted

How often did the European Parliament use its optional secret ballot rule?

I have found it extremely difficult to discover data on this. I can state with certainty that a secret ballot was not used between July 16th 2014 and February 25th 2016 (except with respect to ...
  • 90.1k
2 votes

What European countries have secret voting within the Legislature?

In Sweden the election of prime minister is always public voting.(Sker en statsministeromröstning alltid öppet eller kan omröstningen bli sluten?) Up to 1925 the vote of speaker of the parliament was ...
  • 3,530

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