Open Ballot System: Definition, Merits, Demerits

Post date:



82 / 100

Public Voting or Open Ballot System | Definition, Advantages and Disadvantages

Open Ballot System
Open Ballot System

Public Voting System – It is the type of voting that is done openly or publicly. The voters will have to line up according to their political parties and the counting of the voters is done by the presiding officers before everybody present. The results are declared on the spot.

What is an Election?

An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century. Wikipedia

Definition of Voting

Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an electorate, in order to make a collective decision or express an opinion usually following discussions, debates or election campaigns. Democracies elect holders of high office by voting. – Source : Wikipedia

What is Public Voting System?

An open ballot system is a voting method in which voters vote openly, in contrast to a secret ballot, where a voter’s choices are confidential.

Advantages of Public Voting / Open Ballot System

Public voting system has the following advantages.

  • Simple to Operate – The voting exercise is very simple to operate.
  • Less Costly – It is less costly to operate. Not as costly as secret ballot.
  • Public Responsibility – As voting is a public responsibility, its exercise should also be public.
  • Suffrage is a Trust –  Every eligible adult is entitled to vote during an election.
  • Sufficient Enlightenment – If a community is adequately enlightened and members are courageous enough to withstand improper pressure, public voting should be desirable.
  • It Reduces Electoral Malpractices – This is possibly reduced because the materials that can enhance electoral malpractice are not in place e.g. ballot boxes, ballot papers and ink pad.
  • Immediate Release of Results –  The voters are counted on the spot and the results declared before everybody.

Disadvantages of Public Voting / Open Ballot System

Open ballot system of election has the following disadvantages.

  • Coercion of the Voters – The voter may be compelled to vote for a particular person, whose pressure he may not be able to withstand.
  • Pressures From Government – The Government can exert pressure upon the electorate to vote for government officials.
  • House-Owners and Employers –  They can equally exert pressure on those who are more or less subject to their control.
  • Voters are Exposed to Intimidation, Harassment, etc and as such many may keep away from voting.
  • It is Crude – Open ballot system is seen as crude and uncivilized. It is unacceptable to modern political system.
  • Induce Violence – Those not satisfied with the outcome of the result, may go on rampage and destruction of lives and property could result from the process.
  • Manipulation of the Results – Electoral officials could still manipulate the results of the election, declaration of false figures.
Facebook Comments Box