As voting begins, ballot boxes should be shown to be empty.
- [States should] ensure transparency of the electoral process, particularly in: 8.2.3. the conduct of the ballot: it is advisable to ensure that polling stations are appropriately designed, that transparent ballot boxes are used, that voting booths are available, that counting takes place in public and that distance voting is well regulated.
- The observers should arrive at a polling station prior to the official opening to observe the pre-opening procedures. These may include demonstrating to the observers that the boxes are empty before sealing.
- Those SADC countries that still use opaque wooden ballot boxes are urged to discard them in favour of transparent ballot boxes.
- Of particular importance is the proof that the ballot box is empty prior to being sealed.
- It is important to note whether the ballot boxes are empty at the start of the process.