Take Two for November 6, 2012

How international voting methods differ from the US

A Yemeni man shows his ink-stained thumb

MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images

A Yemeni man shows his ink-stained thumb after he voted in Sanaa on February 21, 2012 as the country votes in the presidential election that brings an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year hardline rule in Yemen, the first Arab state where a revolt ended in a negotiated settlement.

Well it's not news to anyone that a Communist country like China has a very different electoral system from ours. But it's not just those big ideological differences that separate us, it's also the way we vote.

Around the world there is a huge diversity of voting practices, and here to give us a survey is Take Two producer Meghan McCarty. 

1.Many countries use indelible ink, marking a voters finger in order to prevent voter fraud, so a voter can’t go in and vote again. Some of the countries that use this method include Afghanistan, Iraq, India, Egypt, Zimbabwe and Peru, among others

2. The ballots for countries with low literacy rates are typically simpler, with just presidential or just legislative races. They use party symbols or colors, but many of these countries have multiple parties, making the symbols or colors very important.

3. Some countries don’t print ballots, such as Gambia. They issue marbles, which are issued to voters who then put their marble into a bin they want to select, behind a curtain. A bell sound goes off for one marble, so if there are two bell sounds, the administrator knows there was fraud.

4. Some countries still use separate voting places for men and women, such as Yemen, Chile, and in Puerto Rico.

5.  In Bolivia, there is a ban on alcohol the day and night before of election.

6. In Australia, there is a small fine for not voting, in Bolivia if you don’t vote you could have trouble withdrawing money from your bank account, and in Belgium, not voting for four consecutive years could lose you the right to vote for the next 10 years. 

7. The United States is actually unique in the fact that election day is a work day, most countries either vote on the weekend or get the day off. 


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