In Most Modern Polities, the ideal of complete election privacy relies upon anonymous balloting. The use of the secrecy in elections, where a ballot's contents assures the privacy and identity of the voter, can be traced back to the earliest use of ballots themselves.
Secret ballots have been in use in America since colonial times. The Australian ballot was one which guarantees all ballots to be uniform in appearance, and printed and distributed by the government, was adopted throughout most of the US in the late 1800's. All fifty states have provisions in their constitutions for either election by “secret ballot” or elections in which “Secrecy shall be preserved”. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 states this as the anonymity and independence of all voters. Privacy and confidentiality of ballots being paramount, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) created standards that preserve the privacy of the voter and the confidentiality of the ballot. The FEC states explicitly: “To facilitate casting a ballot, all systems shall: Protect the secrecy of the vote such that the system cannot reveal any information about how a particular voter voted, except as otherwise required by individual State law; and: All systems shall provide voting booths [that shall] provide privacy for the voter, and be designed in such a way as to prevent observation of the ballot by any person other than the voter”.
The Privacy Folder has become an integral part of Voter Identity Protection.
A paper ballot contains a voter’s choices in two formats, a form that can be read by humans, and a bar code that translates those choices to a machine readable version. Poll workers may come in contact with the ballot should they be asked to assist a voter or to cast the ballot into the ballot box, but in order to protect voter privacy, it is best to minimize the chance of a precinct worker gazing upon the voter's ballot choices. This is where the Election Privacy Systems Ballot Folder comes into play. Until now, the typical privacy folder was little more than a standard file folder. Our new and improved version is made of durable PVC, has an “active ballot” window that shows a ballot in the folder and a bar code reveal window, allowing access to the machine readable information only. The voter, expected to take their ballot and place it into a privacy folder before leaving the voting booth, and en route to the Ballot Box, is now assured that their voting information will be totally secure.The Ballot Box is a physically secure container, into which voters have their paper ballots placed, in order to "cast" their votes. The mechanical aspects of the voting box will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, depending on local laws and customs. Election Privacy Systems Ballot Folders can be customized to adapt to any Ballot Box.