Frequently Asked Questions

Are votes private?

Every ballot (QR code) has a unique ID. If the QR codes are handed out randomly, nobody knows who is holding each ID. This gives voters anonymity and privacy.

Is it fair?

Surevote correctly implements the Australian standard instant run-off preferential voting system every time, without human error. The scrutineer view allows election officials to monitor the count to confirm accuracy, and the (anonymous!) votes can be printed off and manually cross-checked at any time.

Candidate order on the ballot is randomised for every voter. This means nobody benefits from being first on the list and getting the "donkey vote".

Who gets to vote?

That's up to you. Only someone holding a ballot slip (or several proxies) can vote. You can authorise people however you like before handing them their ballot slip, such as by checking photo ID against a list.

How do people vote?

Each slip has a QR code that can be scanned with the camera on a smartphone or a tablet. As soon as the barcode is scanned, the slip is activated and the person can cast their vote. Each ballot can only be activated once.

Check out the full instructions to voters here:

Can we have proxies?

Yes. Election officials should give each voter one QR code ballot paper for each proxy they hold. They scan each QR code into their device to activate it, then vote each one sequentially. This means they can vote each proxy differently if they so choose.

Does everyone need a phone?

No. It's easiest if most people do but if someone doesn't have their own device they can share someone else's. You can activate multiple ballots on a single device, then pass it back and forth to vote.

Do we need an internet connection?

Yes. Every voter and official needs an internet connection for the duration of the election so that they can communicate with the secure Surevote servers.

What if my battery dies?

Once a ballot is activated it is tied to that device and cannot be re-activated on another one. An election official can "burn" the ballot by scanning it on their device which is logged in to Surevote. Burning a ballot means that it cannot be used to cast votes any more. The official can then issue a new, ballot slip which the voter can activate on another device.

How many voters can we have?

There's no limit, but Surevote is designed around the assumption that everyone is in the same room. To give all voters confidence that there is no "ballot stuffing" taking place, it should be reasonably easy to look around the room and see that the number of people there (plus proxies) is consistent with the number of activated electors shown on the screen.