Re: open votes please!
My father was an election official in the UK for nearly 40 years. He was responsible for the local ballot boxes. Just before the election he collected them and stored them in his house until the election. The box was checked by him to ensure that it was empty, then secured and sealed with wax seals and red tape (which is actually pink). After arrival at the polling station when the poll opened the seal on the ballot slot at the top was removed by him, and documented, the seals on the lid were left in place. The ballots were delivered separately. This was scrutinized. He, or another official (often my mother!) had oversight of the box all of the time that the poll was open. When the poll was closed, the ballot slot was again sealed. He then took the ballot boxes to the returning officer, and got a signature for them and saw the boxes opened. I was impressed that this was taken so seriously, but obviously it also relied highly on the integrity of the people involved.
When I voted for the first time, I noticed that there were a number of small holes punched in the ballot paper, so I asked him about it. He told me that the holes identified the paper and were so that a check could be made that the correct authentic papers were in the box. I was less impressed when he told me that these could also be used to match a voter to the ballot. I gathered that this could be used to determine if an individual had voted for a communist or fascist candidate, as this was forbidden to some State employees (including at the time, me). This was apparently only done in only a few specific cases as it was time consuming and required a warrant (Executed by Special Branch for the Security Service?).
AC because big brother really is watching, but they probably know who I am anyway.