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Polling station

From Academic Kids

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PollingStation_UK_2005.jpg
A polling station situated inside a suburban library in the north of Cambridge during the United Kingdom general election, 2005.

A polling station or polling place (the latter usage being favored in the USA) is where voters attend to cast their ballot in an election as part of the voting process in a democracy.

Since elections generally take place over a one- or two-day span on a periodic (i.e. annual or longer) basis, polling stations are often located in facilities used for other purposes, such as schools, sports halls or local government offices, and will each serve a similar number of people. The area may be known as a ward, precinct or polling district.

The facility will be open between specified hours depending upon the type of election, and political activity by or on behalf of those standing in the ballot is usually prohibited within the venue and immediately surrounding area.

Inside the station will be an area where the voter may select the candidate or party of their choice in secret, and if a ballot paper is used this will be placed into a ballot box in front of witnesses but who cannot see the actual selection made.

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