For such an important decision, the chimney is an awfully simple affair: a century-old cast iron stove where ballot papers are burned, with a copper pipe out the top that snakes up the Sistine's frescoed walls, out the window and onto the chapel roof.
After years of confusion about whether the smoke was black (no pope) or white (pope), the Vatican in 2005 installed an auxiliary stove where fumigating cases are lit. The smoke from those cases
-- black or white -- joins the burned ballot smoke out the chimney.
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