Polling and Balloting Network
The Polling and Balloting Network is the continent-wide electronic system through which the Illuminatian government conducts voting for all public elections, referenda, and other democratic polling purposes.
The Polling and Balloting Network (PBN) is administered by the Department of Direct Democracy. The DDD operates as an independent governmental agency and runs the network transparently in such a way as to promote the highest confidence in the integrity of Illuminatia's democratic system.
The PBN provides every person who has reached the age to vote with a portable electronic device that interfaces with the national polling network. The polling device can connect to the PBN wirelessly and can do so from anywhere in Illuminatia. The security integrated into the device and the network allows the user to vote securely and with no possibility of fraudulent activity. Votes are instantaneously communicated electronically to the DDD for tabulation.
The portable polling device is the crux of the PBN, as it allows everybody to vote quickly and in a simple and effortless manner. The device maximizes voter participation, ensuring everybody who wants to participate in the democracy can do so conveniently within the vote's time window and with virtually no barriers, regardless of the voter's schedule, time obligations, travel plans, mobility situation, or other life circumstances.
The simplicity of accessing the Polling and Balloting Network via the polling device means the DDD can efficiently conduct votes on a frequent basis. Illuminatia's governmental system takes advantage of this capability by holding almost daily votes relating to anything from elected officials to legislative matters up for a public referendum. The convenience of working usage of the polling network into daily life has resulted in a highly direct democracy that can act on popular votes taken on matters that would otherwise be disregarded as too small of a concern for an entire election to be conducted.
The PBN and the polling device have eliminated some of the common problems of democracy that used to plague Earthly civilization, such as slanted representation resulting from low or uneven voter turnout.
The instantaneous transmission of votes into a central tabulation means voting results can be made available almost instantaneously once the polls close. In fact, the public revelation of vote tabulations immediately after the closure of the polls is a near-daily spectacle in Illuminatian media, gaining high viewership and listenership in electronic mediums. As a matter of policy, the DDD does not make partial vote tallies available before closing the votes, in order to avoid any influence partial information regarding the ongoing vote totals may have on the vote itself. However, there is no regulation against individual voters voluntarily disclosing the nature of their vote publicly, so some organizations try to piece together a predictive picture of the vote ahead of the publication of official election results by the DDD in much the same fashion as an exit poll. These organizations do so using a sample from voters who decide to submit their ballot choices to those organizations for the purpose of being included in publicly-available aggregate analysis.
While Illuminatians may voluntarily disclose their voting choices on their own accord, it is highly illegal for any person or entity to demand, solicit, or even gently request a voter's disclosure of their voting selections. Therefore, any media or research organization that wishes to collect this voluntary data must no more than announce their willingness to collect the information along with contact information, after which individuals may choose to contact the organization with their submission.
The Polling and Balloting Network operates in parallel with and in much the same nature as the Monetary Network, which is also a ubiquitous wireless-capable continent-wide electronic network.