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15 days after the pope's death (and not later than 20 days) the election begins with a mass in St Peter's celebrated by all the cardinals. That afternoon the cardinals process to the Sistine Chapel, where voting has traditionally taken place beneath Michelangelo's fresco of the Last Judgement. The revised rules make no mention of the tradition of the white smoke that signals the end of voting and a new pope. Even though they are no longer locked in, the process is still referred to as a 'conclave' and the process is made as private and secret as possible, even to the extent of ensuring that an electronic sweep is done in the chapel to detect any 'bugs' planted.
The cardinals take an oath promising secrecy and the order is given, Extra omnes ("all outside"). The oath of secrecy forbids them to communicate with anyone not involved in the election, or even to disclose details of the votes when the election is over.
Traditionally, there were three methods of choosing the new pope. The first was by acclamation, when all the cardinals agreed to one name proposed, without prior arrangement. This, however, appears never to have happened.
The second was by compromise, when a stalemate was resolved in one of three ways - - a simple majority, plus one - a ballot between the two strongest candidates - delegating the election to a small group of between 9 and 15.
Now there is only one method, a simple two-thirds majority (or two thirds plus one if the number is not exactly divisible).