Surveys that seek to gauge an understanding of what others perceive, think or feel about a subject. They are used to gain feedback and opinion from a person or group of people. Many if not most polls are conducted in an un-scientific manner, but are then taken seriously, resulting in false deductions, that might be presented as true. If integrity cannot be maintained polls become susceptable to fraud
The simplest and most effective method of casting a ballot in a poll is by paper. Paper copies allow for proper authentication so that voters may inspect individual permanent records of their ballots before they are cast and so meaningful recounts can occur, if needed.
Some polls, especially democratic elections and referenda try to rate public opinion, and usually require a selection from a list. Polls may also involve "official" lists of eligible poll participants, so multiple and and other invalid ballots cannot be cast.
In the USA, presidential and other government elections use a variety of secret proprietary electronic voting machines that can't be audited or examined by outsiders. These sort of elections need to produce a human readable ballot that can be recounted when required. The best polls have a fully transparent process, for example, unalterable logs. Ideally results should be certified.
It is not possible to hold a democratic election during a war. There would be too much fear and violence for people to vote freely. Travelling to booths and polling stations becomes dangerous, offices get dynamited and candidates get assassinated.
- MediaWiki Migration Poll
- The Gallup Organization Provides market research and consulting services around the world. Publisher of the Gallup Poll, a widely recognized barometer of American opinion.
- Google Directory - Polling
- Census Bureau Home Page
- National Statistics Online
- Openvoting Consortium - Open source code for voting machines
- Black Box Voting - Elections and voting
- Verified Voting
- E-Voting News and Analysis, from the Experts - Collaborative weblog featuring Lawrence Lessig.