What are the actual steps one takes to vote on election day (when, where, how)?
Voting in America involves several steps prior to election day. The first step is that one must establish residency in the state, county and city in which one votes by filling out voter registration application forms a specified amount of time prior to an election.
On election day, the voter must arrive at the assigned voting precinct with proper identification and a valid voter registration card. He or she will check in with the polling station workers and will receive a ballot. After marking the ballot, the voter is finished.
The way one maintains voter registration is by voting. If one does not vote in state or presidential elections for a period of time, registration expires and must be renewed by application.
Where I live, on Election Day, the voter must already have been registered to vote. Each voting area is divided into precincts. The voter goes to his assigned precinct (usually a school, church, or other community building) and gives the poll workers his name. The poll workers check to make sure that the voter is in the correct precinct and then provide a paper ballot. The voter goes into a voting booth, which has a dark curtain, and marks his ballot. After marking his ballot, the voter hands it to a poll worker, who places it into a counting machine. Usually the voter is provided with a red, white and blue sticker that says something like "I voted today."
In India the voting is organised and conducted by a department of government called Election Commission.
Election Commission has established election offices in every election constituency - that is the complete area from which one representative or candidate is to be elected by its people.Every local election office maintains a list of eligible voters living in the constituency. This list is updated from time to to time by two methods - a door-to-door survey by employees of the election office, and application by the eligible voter. The voters list keeps changing for several reasons like children attaining age of voting (18 years), death, and people migrating from one place to another.
People on the voting list issued a voter registration card. In India the process of issue of voter registration card is not complete, therefore people all allowed to vote without this card also.
When voting is scheduled, the date of voting is announced by the Election Commission in public media. On the appointed day of voting, arrangements are made to set up a number of voting booths. Each voting booth serve the need of voting for a smaller area within the constituency so that people do not have to travel long for casting their vote. This booth is managed by an officer appointed by Election Commission, In addition each candidate contesting the election can place a representative at the booth to check that there are no malpractices in voting.
People who wish to cast their vote come to their appointed booth and identify themselves and give their residential address. Based on this workers operating the booth locate their name on the voters list and give them a slip containing reference to their serial number on the voting list.
The voter then proceeds with this slip for actual voting. Before the voter is actually allowed to cast the vote an entry is made on a voter list to indicate that person has come to vote, another entry is made in a different list giving serial list of all the persons who have voted and signature of the person is obtained against the entry, the identity of the voter is checked base on voter registration card or some other identification, and a mark with indelible ink is made on the left hand middle finger nail. Purpose of this mark is to prevent one person casting vote more than once.
The voter than proceeds to cast vote. This is done by one of two means depending on facility available. First is a paper ballot containing a list of all the candidates contesting the election. The voter indicates his or her choice by placing a mark against the selected candidate. This ballot is then inserted in a sealed ballot box with a small slit for inserting the ballot paper. The second method is electron inc voting. In this method the voter indicates his or her preference by pressing an appropriate button on a voting machine having different buttons for different voters.
After the close of voting time all the ballot boxes and electronic voting machines are take to a central location for the complete constituency, and there votes cast in favour of each voter are ascertained, counted and compiled. Based on this the candidate with maximum votes is declared as elected from the constituency.