A (77) | B (72) | C (171) | D (54) | E (99) | F (47) | G (15) | H (23) | I (15) | J (5) | K (1) | L (18) | M (54) | N (39) | O (40) | P (173) | Q (18) | R (132) | S (185) | T (69) | U (29) | V (152) | W (29) | X (6) | Y (1) | Z (4)
Glossary Term Definition
ballot The official presentation of all of the contests to be decided in a particular election. Version 1.0 Volume I: Voting System Performance Guidelines Appendix A: Glossary A-5
ballot access

The ability to mark, cast, and verify a ballot privately and independently.

ballot board

A group of individuals appointed, usually by local authorities and charged with control of elections and voting procedure.

ballot box

A sealed container that holds ballots cast by voters.

ballot card

A card or a number of cards upon which are printed, or identified by reference to the ballot, the names of candidates for nomination or election to one or more offices or the ballot titles of one or more measures.

ballot cast

The final action a voter takes in selecting contest options and irrevocably confirming their intent to vote as selected. Examples include when a ballot has been deposited by the voter in the ballot box, mailbox, drop box or electronically submitted for tabulation.

ballot configuration Particular set of contests to appear on the ballot for a particular election district, their order, the list of ballot positions for each contest, and the binding of candidate names to ballot positions.
ballot counter Process in a voting device that counts the votes cast in an election.
ballot counting logic The software logic that defines the combinations of voter choices that are valid and invalid on a given ballot and that determines how the vote choices are totaled in a given election.
Ballot Data

A list of contests and associated options that may appear on a ballot for a particular election.

Ballot Designation

A description, name or formal title printed under a candidate's name on a ballot. May also include a candidate's political party or incumbent status.

Ballot Drop Box

A locked container, either indoor or outdoor, where voters can return an absentee ballot for collection directly by an election official.

ballot envelope

The official inner and outer envelopes used to transport absentee and mailed ballots.

Ballot Exhaustion

Refers to processing a ranked choice voting contest on a cast ballot, when that ballot becomes inactive and cannot be advanced in the tabulation for a contest because there are no further valid rankings on the ballot for continuing contest options.

Ballot Fatigue

Phenomenon where voters opt not to vote on races or issues appearing further down the ballot.

ballot format The concrete presentation of the contents of a ballot appropriate to the particular voting technology being used. The contents may be rendered using various methods of presentation (visual or audio), language or graphics.
Ballot Harvesting

The act of collecting ballots, typically by a political party or nonprofit organization, for multiple voters and returning those ballots to an elections office on behalf of those voters. The legality of this practice varies by state, with some states allowing the practice, limiting who can return ballots on behalf of others or banning the practice completely.

ballot image Electronically produced record of all votes cast by a single voter.
ballot instructions Information provided to the voter during the voting session that describes the procedure for executing a ballot. Such material may (but need not) appear directly on the ballot.
ballot label

The portion of voting materials that contains information about voters, candidates, ballots, contests or other election data.

ballot layout

The concrete presentation of the contents of a ballot appropriate to the particular voting technology being used. The contents may be rendered using various methods of presentation (visual or audio), language or graphics.

Ballot Manifest

A catalog prepared by election officials listing all the physical paper ballots and their locations in sequence. This is a requirement for a Risk Limiting Audit but can be used to track ballot inventory and create an audit record for other types of audits.

ballot marking device

A device that permits contest options to be reviewed on an electronic interface, produces a human-readable paper ballot, and does not make any other lasting record of the voter's selections.

ballot measure (1) A question that appears on the ballot for approval or rejection. (2) A contest on a ballot where the voter may vote yes or no.
Ballot on Demand

A process that produces a paper ballot of the required ballot style with the contests and candidates specific to a voter. This process requires a system with a printer that can create paper ballots that can be tabulated on a voting system and device with all of the data needed to print a ballot style associated with a specific voter. Note: "ballot on demand" is a registered trademark of ES&S, but it is a term that is commonly used for similar systems.

ballot order

(1) The order in which contests and candidates appear on a ballot. The order candidates and issues appear on the ballot vary by state. (2) The term used when an election official requests a ballot printer to print a specific number of ballots.

ballot pamphlet

Official information about your ballot issued from an elections office, often referred to as a voter information guide.

ballot pickup

Refers to the act of collecting an absentee or mailed ballot, instead of returning it via drop box, through the mail, or delivery.

ballot position A specific place in a ballot where a voter's selection for a particular contest may be indicated. Positions may be connected to row and column numbers on the face of a voting machine or ballot, particular bit positions in a binary record of a ballot (for example, an electronic ballot image), the equivalent in some other form. Ballot positions are bound to specific contests and candidate names by the ballot configuration.
ballot preparation Selecting the specific contests and questions to be contained in a ballot format and related instructions; preparing and testing election-specific software containing these selections; producing all possible ballot formats; and validating the correctness of ballot materials and software containing these selections for an upcoming election.
ballot production Process of generating ballots for presentation to voters, e.g., printing paper ballots or configuring the ballot presentation on a DRE.
ballot question

Proposals to enact new laws or constitutional amendments that are placed on the ballot for approval or rejection by voters.

Ballot Remake

A ballot substituted for a damaged or partially invalid ballot -- usually remade by a regulated process where the votes from the damaged or partially invalid ballot are duplicated onto another ballot that can tabulated by a scanner.

ballot rotation Process of varying the order of the candidate names within a given contest.
ballot scanner Device used to read the voter selection data from a paper ballot or ballot card.
Ballot Secrecy

A set of rules and procedures to establish the fundamental right of voters in the United States to cast a secret ballot. These procedures ensure that no ballot can be associated with a voter, thereby allowing voters to mark their ballots freely and without fear of repercussion or reprisal.