Ballot boxes have been used for voting across the world and are still used in certain countries. But most countries have switched to electronic voting. Ballot boxes are still used for an election at companies, associations and communities among others. Also known as secret ballot, a ballot box is a temporarily sealed box which has a tiny opening at the top, more like a slot that allows people to insert the ballot papers. The ballot papers are tiny pieces of paper where a voter records the vote and slides it in the ballot box. After all votes have been registered, the ballot box is opened and the votes are counted.
Ballot boxes have existed before democracy became the preferred form of government across the world. Ballot boxes have been used in ancient and medieval times to record votes of nobles, lords, senators and ministers. Usually, black ballot boxes are used to keep the votes a secret. A transparent ballot box may make it obvious who someone is voting for. But, in many cases ballot boxes were found to have been pre-loaded with fraudulent votes. This had many people recommending the use of white or transparent ballot boxes, just to ensure that there are no ballot papers inside the box already. The need for transparent ballot boxes often compelled the election organizers to use a piece of opaque cloth that would be wrapped around the box after it had been proved that the boxes are empty. After receiving the votes, the piece of cloth would be removed, the seal would be opened and the ballot papers would be brought out to calculate the votes.
Black ballot boxes are a rather simple and utilitarian way to conduct an election but it had been heavily criticized for many reasons. Most of those reasons were man made. People with nefarious intentions would compromise the security of the ballot boxes. There are innumerable cases of tampering with ballot boxes and destroying votes. Fraudulent votes and false or duplicate votes have also been common in the history of ballot boxes.
Today, ballot boxes are often used in conjunction with electronic systems. The voters register themselves at the polling booths or stations and then go onto use a ballot paper to register their vote in a ballot box. This records the footfall of a voter and the subsequent vote, thus doing away with a substantial chance of fraud.