Monday, January 31, 2011

Southern Sudan 2011: ballot paper

The ballot used for the recently-held Southern Sudan referendum is the simplest ballot that has ever been used: see

There were only two words that appeared on it: "unity" and "secession" (written in Arabic and English).  There was also a symbol to assist the illiterate: two hands clasped together to symbolize "unity" and a single open hand to sybolize "secession". 

Perhaps the most ingenious idea was that ballots are marked by a thumbprint.  This makes fraudulent ballot-casting more difficult because each mark must be unique, but because there is no fingerprint registry in Sudan, the ballots are also anonymous. 

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