The system for balloting (paper, electronic, or otherwise) should ensure the secrecy of a voter's choice.
- [States should foster citizen participation in the electoral process by]enabling all citizens to exercise their right to vote through proxy voting, postal voting or e-voting, on the condition that the secrecy and the security of the vote are guaranteed.
- Votes and voter information shall remain sealed as long as the data is held in a manner where they can be associated. Authentication information shall be separated from the voter's decision at a pre-defined state in the e-election or e-referendum.
- Where systems of proxy or postal voting are used, and where sick people are allowed to vote at home or in hospital, ensuring that these arrangements can withstand attempts at fraud or coercion and do not offend the secrecy of the ballot.
- The voting station should be laid out in such a way that no one is able to see how voters are marking their ballot papers.
- As an additional security measure and safeguard against fraud, a number of countries use voting procedures that require that ballots be placed in envelopes before being placed in the ballot box.
- All voters have the right to vote in secret. It is the responsibility of the authorities to guarantee this right through provision of polling booths that allow ballot papers to be marked in private.
- The tear-off part of the ballot should not bear any serial number, while the counterfoil might have these numbers for control purposes.
- Where ballot papers are designed with a counterfoil and serial number all precautions should be taken to ensure that it is impossible to reconcile cast ballots with the names of individual voters (e.g., by marking their identity number on the counterfoil).
- The voter should collect his or her ballot paper and no one else should touch it from that point on.
- Clear rules must be established for voting in polling stations, as well as other methods of voting, that include safeguards for secret balloting and that provide for monitoring by political contestants and election observers.
- Absentee voting procedures require additional, and in many cases improved, efforts to prevent fraud, special voter education programmes, and extra training for members of election commissions. Special attention should be paid to guaranteeing the secrecy of the vote when introducing new voting technologies.
- The signing and stamping of ballot papers should not take place at the point when the paper is presented to the voter, because the signatory or the person affixing the stamp might mark the paper so that the voter could be identified when it came to counting the votes, which would violate the secrecy of the ballot.
- The vote should be cast personally in full secrecy…without the possibility of tracing individual votes.
- There must be the possibility for meaningful verification of ballots cast electronically, such as that provided by a manual recount or end-to-end verifiability. (...) The verification mechanism must also fully guarantee the integrity of the results without compromising the secrecy of the vote.
- NVT systems are intended to fulfil the same functions as paper-based or mechanical systems and must, therefore, meet the same standards that apply to these systems.
- Secrecy of the vote means that it should not be possible to associate a vote with a specific voter. This secrecy permits the voter to exercise her or his choice freely, without the potential for coercion, intimidation or vote-buying. NVT systems must be consistent with this requirement.