Limits on the right to vote may be based on a requirement for identification.
- Furthermore, polling station officials must check whether the voter has already voted in the election. Unfortunately, “multiple voting” is still a common problem in a number of states in the region. In principle, it can be avoided if the voters are properly identified and registered, and the voter lists are signed by the voter (or marked by the election officials) when voters receive the ballot papers. However, in practice, there are many instances in which voter lists were not signed by voters, or in which multiple similar signatures with the same handwriting were found on the voters lists (see for example, CG/BUR (11) 95; CG/BUR (11) 122rev). The latter may indicate either “multiple voting” or “family voting”.
- The process of voter identification is of paramount importance for the overall integrity of the electoral process. Before voting, voters are required to prove their identity, usually through presentation of identity documents. It is important that the Election Law or instructions by the electoral administration body clearly specify what kind of identity document is valid for the purpose of voter identification.
- Following confirmation of the voter’s identity, the next step is usually to check whether the voter has the right to vote at that particular polling station. Such a check is normally done by voters list. However, the problem of voters coming to polling stations without their names being on the voter register, either because they went to the wrong polling station or because the voter lists were in a sorry state, was reported in several countries. Given the poor quality of regular voter lists in some countries, supplementary lists might be necessary, but this is far from being ideal.
- Invariably voters are required to prove their identity by showing a passport or ID or some form of identification.