Copyright Peter Brent 2005. No reproduction without permission.
Use back key or go to ballot page
Australian historical and political science academic
accounts of the “secret ballot” often describe it as being designed in
What was an Australian first, and has become, with
exceptions, the norm across the world, was the “Australian ballot”, which was a
particular version of the secret ballot. While it had many unique
characteristics – for example a private compartment in which to fill in the
ballot slip - its central feature was government responsibility for the
printing of official ballot slips that were then handed out by electoral
officials. This was the revolution in design, but this was not the ballot
called for by Chartists, Radicals and reformers, whose demands were generic:
for vote by “secret ballot”, as many of their brethren enjoyed in
In many historical and political science academic narratives of colonial Australasian democratic innovations, the secret ballot assumes pride of place alongside reforms such as male (then universal) suffrage, payment for MPs and abolition of nomination on the hustings, all of which were implemented in Australia the five decades before the end of the nineteenth century.
Like those other measures, no one has ever
claimed that the idea of the secret ballot originated in the antipodes.
“The ballot” (as it was often called)
had enjoyed a long tradition of advocacy reaching back to Greece and Rome;
more recently, the Englishman John Cartwright’s 1776 pamphlet Take Your
Choice argued for the ballot, manhood suffrage, equal electoral districts,
one person one vote and annual elections, recommendations which formed the
basis of both the Radical’s Charter and the slightly later People’s Charter,
both in the 1830s. George Grote, a contemporary of the philosophers Jeremy Bentham and James Mill, who
was elected to the House of Commons in 1832, advocated vote by secret ballot.
It was a reform favoured by many democrats, progressives and liberals in the
Historians tell us that a combination of factors brought these ideas to our shores. The 1832 UK Reform Act, which widened the franchise, in one swoop gave political power to some middle class liberals (or “radicals”) while also embittering many of the working class males who remained without the vote, out of who grew the Chartist movement. Radicals and Chartists, both influenced by Bentham, agitated for many of the same reforms, and those who made their way to the colonies found that while their ideas had met fierce resistance in the Mother Country, fertile ground awaited in the New World.
Perhaps also, as has been suggested, “a
country whose first colonisers were convicts is naturally somewhat radical.” Other possible contributing factors include
the American and French revolutions at the end of the 18th century,
and the European upheavals of 1848. These may have come as warning signs to
those in power in the United Kingdom and her colonies, and spurred a
willingness to devolve power; “the
elite were forced to extend the franchise because of the threat of
revolution." And to the question of why the
In summary, the secret ballot was an idea
whose time had come, and when it came, according to many, it visited
If history is written by the victors, it is
often also the case that decisions taken, however tenuously or with misgivings
at the time, achieve greater perceived validity with time. So it is with the
secret ballot, whose appropriateness is taken for granted across the world today.
But the idea was controversial at the time, with some opponents considering it
noble but unworkable, others believing it philosophically flawed, and still
others simply viewing it with horror. The corresponding objections can be
placed in three broad categories, at least the first two of which had validity.
One was the fear of fraud: that, with the vote secret, people would impersonate
other voters and take their vote, or vote more than once. Then there was the
philosophical objection, that the ballot was ‘un-English’ – an effective term
of abuse in the colonies as well as
Three men (all English-born) are generally associated with the
introduction of the secret ballot in
Nicholson later became Victorian Premier, but his reputation as “father of the ballot” stems predominately from his December 1857 success in moving a motion that "any electoral act should be based upon the principle of voting by ballot.". However, Scott has presented evidence that Nicholson "had not the faintest idea of how the ballot would work", and after his achieving the support of his fellow Legislative Councilors, the design fell to the lawyer HS Chapman.
Henry Samuel Chapman (1803 to 1881), also
in the Victorian Legislative Council in 1855-56, has been described as a
having had a long association with radical causes, including advocating the
ballot, and running a radical newspaper in Canada.
By the time of
There was and remains some state rivalry as to parentage of the ballot
I have never been able to understand why the
authorship of the Australian ballot has been persistently claimed for the
Sister State of Victoria … it was the South Australian statute … which Mr
Boothby drafted, that gave
By the end of the decade New South Wales
and Queensland had implemented ballot legislation, and notwithstanding robust
opposition – a “vile system” and “dead failure”, suggested the Times of
London as early as 1857;
“red tape” warned a UK politician twelve years later
- it was, before the century’s end, exported to New Zealand (1870), the United
Kingdom (1872), Canada (1874) and Belgium (1877). From 1888 onwards, many
jurisdictions of the
We will take a brief detour here to sketch the development of two features of the Australian Ballot. One of them might be called trivial, while the other had important repercussions for the actual secrecy of the ballot.
The Victorian ballot, as noted, quickly
spread, first to
In 1858 another change came – this time
But the 1858 South Australian Act (in clause 31) saw a change; it had the voter “making a cross within the square opposite the name [of] the candidate for whom he intends to vote”.
of course, came to be the norm around the world - putting a tick, cross or mark
next to the person or party you wish to vote for.
For the Australian ballot’s first trip abroad, to
However, after the six Australian states had federated, and held the first elections for the House of Representatives and Senate in 1901 - conducted by the colonies using their own mechanisms and rules - a committee of the new parliament recommended that “the practice of striking out the names of the candidates on the ballot paper be discontinued [in favour of] a cross within a square printed on the ballot paper after the names of the candidates”, which was duly included in the Australian Electoral Act 1902.
Meanwhile, changes to the colonies – then states - electoral systems that involved ballot slips requiring the voter to number candidates rendered the question moot. (See table in Appendix A.)
Apart from variations such as these, the Victorian secret ballot procedure was remarkably influential, and was adopted across much of the “liberal democratic” world.
We need to
take stock at this point. We have been describing the introduction of the
secret ballot in
There is a
tendency in Australian narratives to conflate the two, create a false dichotomy
between open voting (on the voices, show of hands or signed ballot papers) and
the Australian Ballot, and claim that the world’s first secret ballot
legislation was enacted in
But how do we reconcile these sentiments with
the following information: That the Canadian colony of
The statements by the two Australian
historians can only be true if the “protean concept”, the “ballot being
What was so special about the Australian Ballot? What separated it from contemporary versions of the secret ballot?
We can tease this out with reference to the
wave of “Australian Ballot” reforms that hit the
There was much interest in electoral reform from
The practice of "treating" by candidates has, in many parts of the country, grown into an evil of formidable magnitude. The old custom of a personal house-to-house canvass has, in our cities, degenerated into a visiting of liquor saloons and "corner groceries". The candidate is expected to visit each groggery in his district, to present his card, and leave on the bar a ten or twenty-dollar bill, for which no change is given, while all the loungers about the place are called on to take a drink. In some places the custom is for him to pay for a keg of beer..
Others to call for the Australian system included Rice in 1886 - the “Australian system [has been] praised for having secured absolute secrecy of balloting and accurate returns”)  and, importantly, Wigmore in 1889.
The necessity of election reform is deeply impressed upon the American mind. Impatience with present conditions exists in both political parties. The Australian system, being simple, easily understood, and presenting possibilities, if not probabilities, of fruitful results, is approved by many .
And the following year the American Century Illustrated Magazine editorialised:
When the [
These are just samples of the commentary;
there is no doubt that many American political scientists, legislators and
reformers were looking to something they called an “Australian” system.
The first jurisdiction to introduce the
Australian Ballot was
By 1892 – in time for that year’s Presidential election - the majority of American states had introduced Australian ballot legislation.
Ware has described this wave:
Before 1888 no state in the United States used the Australian system of balloting, but …[b]y 1891 thirty-one of the thirty-three non-southern states had adopted some variant of the Australian Ballot law, and by 1893 the two remaining states (Iowa and Kansas) had followed suit.
And four years later, at the 1896 presidential election, the Times of London (27 October) reported that:
It is a fact … that the Australian ballot, being secret, is an effectual protection against coercion, and the only [American] states in which this ballot does not obtain are Georgia, Louisiana and North and South Carolina.[My italics]
These advocates spoke of reform along the lines of the “Australian ballot”, because the “secret ballot” was already in use – it was just that its secrecy was compromised.
So if the Australian reform wasn’t the secret ballot per se, what was it? To one contemporary American commentator the secret compartment was paramount: The Australian system's
first and most important feature is the fact that, at the moment just before casting his ballot, the voter must pass a brief but sufficient period of time alone in a room, booth or compartment, where he is exempt from espionage, and certain of solitary freedom long enough to prepare his ballot. 
But this feature was in fact a by-product of the most important aspect of the Australian Ballot: the government-printed ballot slip. This was the distinguishing, revolutionary feature. This was what the Victorian Legislative Council “invented”, the procedure in which a voter takes the ballot slip from the official, retires to a private room and, having chosen their candidate, places the paper in the ballot box under the eye of the official..
Here was an American’s 1889 wish list:
(1) The ballot should be printed and distributed at public expense.
(2) The names of all candidates for the same office should be printed upon the same ballot.
(3) The ballot should be delivered to the voters within the polling place on election day by sworn public officials, and only ballots so delivered should be counted.
(4) The voter should be guaranteed absolute privacy in preparing his ballot, and the secrecy of the ballot should be made compulsory.
This was the radical change, one that transformed elections. This was the Australian ballot system designed by Chapman: it made coercion and/or corruption very difficult.
Two decades earlier, Sir Charles Dilke, in
advocacy of the Australian Ballot’s introduction to the
The American and French systems … are secret [so far] as this: that they
may be secret, but they need not in all cases be secret; and in that they
differ entirely from the Australian system ..[which] is and must necessarily be
secret. I mean this: that in
This gives an indication of the rather
undisciplined nature of the ballot as it existed then. And it also alludes to
the central misunderstanding in many accounts of the ballot.
Hirst is correct when he writes that “the
ballot had been discussed in
And in 1858, ballot sceptic Lord John Russell belittled, in the House of Commons, ballot advocates’ enthusiastic reports of the Australian experiment two years earlier, also referring to its use elsewhere:
.. after the ballot has been established in
many countries of Europe, and nominally in the
There had been calls aplenty for the secret
ballot in the
This is not a semantic point or to split
hairs: it goes to the heart of a contradiction of the particularly Australian
account of the ballot. There is the generic secret ballot and the specific
Australian ballot, and they possess different plotlines. In the 1830s, the
secret ballot was used in
The Australian ballot, if popularity
is any guide, was the best version of the secret ballot ever invented, but it
wasn’t the first. It resides in the narrative of
The problems begin when attempts are made
to marry the two, or perhaps to see only the particularly British story, in
which Chartists’ and radicals’ demands for something new finally coming to
fruition in the Australian colonies. But McKenna’s “protean” was not first
I will mention Wigmore and Scott, because
the latter’s 1920 and 1921 writings on the ballot have been influential, and
possibly contribute to the misconception. In 1889 a young
In 1920, the historian Ernest Scott took Wigmore to task for, among other things, “stat[ing] that the Australian system was purely indigenous, its details having been prepared and marked out independently, and no other system being referred to or known by the framers of law. The truth of that”, Scott continued, “will be clear when we examine the circumstances in which the ballot originated”.
But Scott’s “truth” is
the British-Australian account: of Chartist agitators among the gold diggers,
convicts and others arriving from
This is because, as noted, no Chartist or Radical, no Grote, Mill (junior or senior) or Bentham, advocated anything that was particular to the Australian Ballot that came into being in 1856. This cast of characters predominate in the Australian story; Scott wishes to unnaturally force them into the American one as well.
Fredman also muddied the waters in his The Australian Ballot: the Story of an American
Reform (1967). A “historian and an Australian”,
Fredman understood the history of the ballot in the
It is not possible to trace
the precise origin of the idea. Some immigrants [to
And, later: “The principle of the ballot
was old, even in
Which “idea” and “principle” is Fredman
referring to? If it is the generic secret ballot, then his readers in
[W]hen face to face with a demand for reforms from which well read but dawdling pedants in other countries shrink, [Australasian legislators] have the boldness to go forward and the knack of doing work that will serve its purpose.
William Pember Reeves, 1902.
The Australian ballot, introduced in
Was it, however, the world’s first secret
ballot? There is of course a trivial refutation of that assertion: that the
word “ballot” originates from an Italian word “balotta”, meaning “little ball”
and the more recent word “psephology” comes from the Greek “phephos”, for
pebble. Both of these refer to “secret” voting practices that date back to
But this paper has taken to task a less ambitious assertion. The claim that, in the words of the AEC, “Australia was the first country to use the secret ballot”, and that in subsequent decades, according to another writer, “[t]he secret ballot became known in the United States as the ‘Australian ballot’” has a specific context, which can perhaps be described as the relatively modern era of large numbers of people electing representatives to national or other legislatures, and of the replacement of “open voting” with vote by ballot.
We know that, before the ballot came to
So what of
Perhaps the issue is just geographical, and
we have seen the unnatural joining of two narratives. One narrative exists
within the story of the British Empire and
The other narrative is of the remarkable
spread of the Australian version of the secret ballot around much of the world,
across Europe (including the
That is the true story, of a particular
subset of the “secret ballot” – the “Australian ballot”. It was invented,
designed and put into practice in
Strike-through (S) or Mark in square (M)?
The returning officer or his deputy shall provide a locked box of which he shall keep the key with a cleft or opening in such box capable of receiving the ballot paper and which box shall stand upon the table at which the returning officer deputy returning officer or poll clerk and scrutineers preside And each elector shall having previously satisfied as herein provided the returning officer or his deputy that he is entitled to vote at such election then receive from the returning officer or deputy returning officer or poll clerk a ballot paper in the form in the schedule hereunto annexed marked F and which ballot paper shall be signed upon the back by the returning officer with his name and such elector shall in the compartment or ballot room provided for the purpose strike out the names of such candidates as he does not intend to vote for and shall forthwith fold up the same in such manner as will conceal the names of the candidates and display that of the returning officer written upon the back and deposit it in the ballot box in the presence of the returning officer or deputy returning officer or poll clerk and scrutineers and in case such elector shall be unable to read or shall be blind he shall signify the same to the returning officer or deputy returning officer or poll clerk who shall thereupon mark or strike out the names of such candidates as the elector may designate and no elector shall take out of such room any such ballot paper either before or after he has marked the same and any elector wilfully infringing any of the provisions of this clause or obstructing the polling by any unnecessary delay in performing any act within the ballot room shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour.
Before delivering the ballot paper to the elector as hereinbefore provided the returning officer or deputy returning officer or poll clerk shall write upon each ballot paper so delivered to such elector the number corresponding to the number set opposite to the elector’s name in the electoral roll and shall thereupon check or mark off upon a certified copy of the electoral roll such voter’s name as having voted and such numbers so corresponding as aforesaid shall be sufficient prima facie evidence of the identity of the electors whose names shall appear on the roll and of the fact of their having voted at the election at which such ballot papers were delivered.
The author of the passage below is
"Edward Wakefield". As far as I can tell, it is Edward Jerningham Wakefield, son of Edward
Gibbon Wakefield (after who the South Australian federal electorate is named).
But Wakefield Junior died in 1879, a decade before this was published. Don't
know whether it had been published previously. The piece is called 'The
Australasian Ballot', presumably to include
Prior to the day appointed by the election, a sufficient number of conveniently-situated buildings or rooms are publicly announced as polling booths, and early on the morning of the election these places are taken possession of by the "returning officer" and his deputies, none of whom have a vote or are in any way concerned in the election. The returning officer (or deputy) seats himself at a table, with his poll clerk, and one scrutineer, appointed by each candidate if he choose, the scrutineer being a non-voter. Nobody else is allowed in the polling booth, which is thus absolutely private for the purpose of voting. The returning officer has before him the electoral roll, on which are registered the names and descriptions of all qualified voters, arranged and numbered from No. 1 upward, in alphabetical order. He also has a corresponding number of ballot papers, which are small sheets of printing paper, containing the names of the candidates in alphabetical order, and a direction to the voter, plainly printed, instructing him to draw a line through the names of the candidates whom he does not wish to vote for. The ballot box, which is simply a large wooden box with a slit in the top, stands on the table in front of the returning officer, who alone has the key of it. In another part of the room, but in view of the returning officer, there is a screen, behind which is a writing table or shelf, and a supply of blue pencils.
At the hour appointed for opening the poll (the polling hours differ in different colonies, but are generally from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M.), a constable opens the door of the polling booth, and the voting begins. The elector walks in, states his name in full, and answers any questions the returning officer may put to him for the purpose of identifying him for the electoral roll. The returning officer then ticks him off on the roll and gives him a ballot paper, having first written the elector's number, from the electoral roll, in the corner of the page, and gummed it down. I mention this detail for a reason which will appear later.
The elector takes the paper, goes behind the screen, draws a blue pencil line through the names of the candidates whom he does not wish to vote for, comes out with the paper folded in his hand, drops it in the slit in the lid of the ballot box, and goes about his business. A constant succession of voters will repeat this process all day until the hour for closing the poll, when, on the stroke of the clock, the constable shuts and locks the door of the booth. Blind or otherwise physically incapable electors, or those who cannot read, are entitled to the assistance of the returning officer if they ask for it.
Acemoglu, D. and Robinson, J. A. (1999) 'Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective', Not sure.
Bain, A. (1974) The Minor Works of George Grote, Lenox Hill, New York.
Bernheim, A. C. (1889) 'The Ballot in New York', Political Science Quarterly, 4, 130-152.
Courtney, J. C. (2004) Elections, University of British Colombia Press, Vancouver.
Cox, G. W. and Kousser, J. M. (1981) 'Turnout and Rural Corruption: New York as a Test Case', American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 25 no. 4, pp646-663.
Duffy, C. G. (1893) 'Payment of Members: an Australian Example', The Contemporary Review, April 1893, 480-484.
Duffy, C. G., Sir, 1816-1903 (1898) My Life in Two Hemispheres, T. Fisher Unwin, London :.
Editorial (1889) 'Topics of the Time: Ballot Reform Progress', The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Vol XXXVIII, pp793-4.
Fort, C. (2001) Electing Responsible Government: South Australia 1857, State Electoral Office, Adelaide, SA.
Fredman, L. E. (1958) The Australian ballot: the story of an American reform, Michigan State University Press.
George, H. (1883) 'Money in Elections', North American Review, CXXXVI, 201-11.
Harris, H. L. (1926) 'The Influence of Chartism in Australia', The Royal Australasian Historical Society: Journals and Proceedings, XI, Part VI, 351-378.
Hirst, J. B. (2002) Australia's democracy : a short history, Allen & Unwin,, Crows Nest, N.S.W. :.
Hoadly, G. (1888-9) 'Methods of Ballot Reform', The Forum, Vol 7, 623-633.
Johns, F. (1917) 'Leaves From My Notebook: Act 60 Years in Operation', SA Public Service Review, 496-498.
McKenna, M. (2001) In Elections: Full, Free & Fair(Ed, Sawer, M.) The Federation Press, Sydney.
Mill, J. S. (1858) 'Private Correspondence to Henry Samuel Chapman'.
Neale, R. S. (1967) 'H.S. Chapman and the 'Victorian' Ballot', Historical Studies, Vol 12, 506-521.
Newman, T. (2003) 'Tasmania and the Secret Ballot', Australian Journal of Politics and History, 49, 93-101.
Pascoe, J. J. (Ed.) (1901) History of Adelaide and vicinity : with a general sketch of the province of South Australia and biographies of representative men, Hussey & Gillingham, Adelaide.
Pember Reeves, W. (1969) State experiments in Australia and New Zealand, Macmillan.
Prest, W. (Ed.) (2001) The Wakefield companion to South Australian history / editor: Wilfrid Prest ; managing editor: Kerrie Round ; assistant editor: Carol Fort, Wakefield Press,, Kent Town, S. Aust. :.
Rice, A. T. (1886) 'Recent Reforms in Balloting', North American Review, CXLII, 628-42.
Scott, E. (1920) 'The History of the Victorian Ballot', The Victorian Historical Magazine, Vol VIII, pp1-14.
Serle, G. (1968) The Golden Age: A History of the Colony of Victoria, 1851-1861, MUP, Melbourne.
Wakefield, E. (1889) 'The Australasian Ballot', The Forum, Vol VIII, pp148-158.
Ware, A. (2000) 'Anti-Partism and Party Control of Political Reform in the United States: The Case of the Australian Ballot', British Journal of Political Science, v30, p1-29.
Wedderburn, S. D. (1876) 'English Liberalism and Australasian Democracy', Fortnightly Review, No. CXV (New Series), pp43-59.
Wigmore, J. H. (1889) The Australian ballot system as embodied in the legislation of various countries, C.C. Soule, Boston.
Wright, J. F. H. (1980) Mirror of the Nation's Mind: Australia's Electoral Experiments, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney.
 Not all of the Australian colonies, however, saw all of these reforms at that timeframe.
 In the paper, “ballot” and “secret ballot” are also interchangeable.
 There are reports of secret voting as far back as
 Neale, R. S. (1967) 'H.S. Chapman and the 'Victorian' Ballot', Historical Studies, Vol 12, 506-521.
 Harris, H. L. (1926) 'The Influence of Chartism in Australia', The Royal Australasian Historical Society: Journals and Proceedings, XI, Part VI, 351-378.p352
 Acemoglu, D. and Robinson, J. A. (1999) 'Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective', Not sure.
 One British visitor in the 1870s noted the power of the term ‘un-English’ in the Australian colonies. Wedderburn, S. D. (1876) 'English Liberalism and Australasian Democracy', Fortnightly Review, No. CXV (New Series), pp43-59. Some years later Gavan Duffy wrote of the payment for MPs that “It was declared to be un-English, which no doubt it was; but as manhood suffrage, the ballot, members with no property qualification, and election expenses not levied off the candidates, which had already been adopted, were equally un-English at the time, this objection was not very persuasive.” Duffy, C. G. (1893) 'Payment of Members: an Australian Example', The Contemporary Review, April 1893, 480-484.p482
 In a letter to HS Chapman in July 1858 he explained that “far from thinking [he] was wrong in supporting it formerly”, circumstances had changed. Specifically, the dangers from bribery and coercion had so receded as to no longer outweigh the desirability of a person being able to publicly defend their political choices.
 Scott, E. (1920) 'The History of the Victorian Ballot', The Victorian Historical Magazine, Vol VIII, pp1-14., convincingly refuted the “fallacious and boastful claim” (p4) of a fourth, South Australian politician Francis S. Dutton. It was before the House of Commons in 1869 that Dutton asserted parentage, a misconception that carried through at least two American books on the Australian Ballot.
C. G., Sir, 1816-1903 (1898) My Life in
Two Hemispheres, T. Fisher Unwin, London :.. for example. Also, in private correspondence to HS Chapman, JS
Mill advised “The adoption of the
 Serle, G. (1968) The Golden Age: A History of the Colony of Victoria, 1851-1861, MUP, Melbourne.. According to Serle (p208-9), Nicholson’s motion was passed by 8 votes; the government leader Haines resigned.
 Scott, E. (1920) 'The History of the Victorian Ballot', The Victorian Historical Magazine, Vol VIII, pp1-14. Scott’s thesis, that Chapman was agnostic on the question of the ballot itself, and simply determined, once the Council had voted for it, to make it workable, has been rejected; see Neale (1967)
 Writes Neale, R. S. (1967) 'H.S. Chapman and the 'Victorian' Ballot', Historical Studies, Vol 12, 506-521.p514 "Like most other Philosophical Radicals, Chapman felt himself to be something of a Philosopher King, fit to govern benevolently but cut off by taste and aspiration from the mass of the governed."
 One part of his life that hasn’t made it to any historical accounts I’ve found is what appears to be a bankruptcy in 1828. (Times of London May 20 1828)
 Chapman had also been an a nominated member of the Legislative
 See Newman,
T. (2003) 'Tasmania and the Secret Ballot', Australian
Journal of Politics and History, 49,
93-101. which corrects a long-standing misconception that
 Two recent sources, Fort, C. (2001) Electing Responsible Government: South Australia 1857, State Electoral Office, Adelaide, SA.(2001; p11) and Prest, W. (Ed.) (2001) The Wakefield companion to South Australian history / editor: Wilfrid Prest ; managing editor: Kerrie Round ; assistant editor: Carol Fort, Wakefield Press,, Kent Town, S. Aust. :.(which Fort worked on) have Boothby assuming the position of returning officer in 1854. For the time being I assume 1856 as the correct, see for example Public Service Review (1893) In SA Public Service Review, pp. 50. and the entry in Pascoe’s History of Adelaide and Vicinity Pascoe, J. J. (Ed.) (1901) History of Adelaide and vicinity : with a general sketch of the province of South Australia and biographies of representative men, Hussey & Gillingham, Adelaide..)
 Johns, F. (1917) 'Leaves From My Notebook: Act 60 Years in Operation', SA Public Service Review, 496-498. Johns’s Australian Biographical Dictionary (1934) declares Boothby “the father of what became known as the Australian Ballot” (p37) but HS Chapman receives credit in his entry too: Chapman “drafted the machinery clauses for the [Victorian] Ballot Bill which became law 19 Mar. 1856.”
E. (1920) 'The History of the Victorian Ballot', The Victorian Historical Magazine, Vol VIII, pp1-14. p2.
According to Johns’s (1934) entry for Scott (p311) he was born in
 Times of
 Quoted in Fredman, L. E. (1958) The Australian ballot: the story of an American reform, Michigan State University Press.p15-6, and un-named speaker, sourced to Hansard Parliamentary Debates, third series, CCVII (June 26, 1871), 574-77 (Gathorne-Hardy), 594-604 (Hope).
 See Appendix B, Clause XXXVIII. The information was kept private, and the public at large was not able to match voters with numbers
 As Newman, T. (2003) 'Tasmania and the Secret Ballot', Australian Journal of Politics and History, 49, 93-101.points out, the Tasmanian legislation actually passed through parliament before the Victorian, although it almost certainly was based on the Chapman legislation. The Tasmanian, Victorian and South Australian acts containing secret ballot were passed, all in 1856, on 4 February, 19 March and 18 April respectively.
 South Australian legislation was passed in 1856 but the first election using the secret ballot was in 1857
 Or, as
 This “norm” needs some qualification. Some electoral systems today,
such as our own preferential voting, require all boxes to be filled. Elsewhere,
for example in the
 There were variations, beginning in
 The WA situation is a little murky at this stage. Remembering that it didn’t achieve self-government in 1890; there are several references to an 1877 introduction of the secret ballot, with one source (Wigmore, 1889) describing the Boothby method. However, the colony’s 1895 Electoral Act certainly certainly (in clause 74) instructs that voters strike out the names they don’t want.
 ‘Report of the Conference Re Federal Elections Bill”, 4 July 1901, Section 27 p6 in Commonwealth Gazette 1901-2 Volume 2 page 203.
 http://www.aec.gov.au/_content/when/history/history.htm last checked July 13 2005
 McKenna, M. (2001) In Elections: Full, Free & Fair(Ed, Sawer, M.) The Federation Press, Sydney.p47
 Hirst, J. B. (2002) Australia's democracy : a short history, Allen & Unwin,, Crows Nest, N.S.W. :.p51
 Courtney, J. C. (2004) Elections, University of British Colombia Press, Vancouver.p106
 Fredman, L. E. (1958) The Australian ballot: the story of an American reform, Michigan State University Press.p20
 For example, The Argus, 19 December 1855 p 6 column b; “Mr C. Campbell” told the Council that “[i]n America, Massachusetts, one of the most enlightened States, had tried the ballot and it had failed: and he believed that the system would fail equally in the community of Victoria”; and 20 December 1855 p4 column g, “The Surveyor General [noted that ] [i]t was urged by one side that it- the ballot – had given happiness to France … “
 Fredman, L. E. (1958) The Australian ballot: the story of an American reform, Michigan State University Press.p21
 There were variations from state to state as to who could attend polling places.
 George, H. (1883) 'Money in Elections', North American Review, CXXXVI, 201-11.p210
 Rice, A. T. (1886) 'Recent Reforms in Balloting', Ibid.CXLII, 628-42. p632
 Wigmore, J. H. (1889) The Australian ballot system as embodied in the legislation of various countries, C.C. Soule, Boston.
 Hoadly, G. (1888-9) 'Methods of Ballot Reform', The Forum, Vol 7, 623-633.p623
 Editorial (1889) 'Topics of the Time: Ballot Reform Progress', The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Vol XXXVIII, pp793-4.p794
 Fredman, L. E. (1958) The Australian ballot: the story of an American reform, Michigan State University Press.p20
 Ware, A. (2000) 'Anti-Partism and Party Control of Political Reform in the United States: The Case of the Australian Ballot', British Journal of Political Science, v30, p1-29.p9
 Hoadly, G. (1888-9) 'Methods of Ballot Reform', The Forum, Vol 7, 623-633.p625
 See Appendix B for relevant the Victorian Electoral Act clause
 Bernheim, A. C. (1889) 'The Ballot in New York', Political Science Quarterly, 4, 130-152.p140
 But see Cox, G. W. and Kousser, J. M. (1981) 'Turnout and Rural Corruption: New York as a Test Case', American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 25 no. 4, pp646-663. who provide evidence that parties paid voters to stay at home once the vote’s secrecy was truly assured.
 Quoted in Bernheim, A. C. (1889) 'The Ballot in New York', Political Science Quarterly, 4, 130-152.p150
 Times of London, November 17, 1832, p1, ‘Lincoln Reform Festival’ (Abridged from Drakard’s Stamford News).
 Times of London, July 9, 1858, p6 House of Commons debate
 Wigmore, J. H. (1889) The Australian ballot system as embodied in the legislation of various countries, C.C. Soule, Boston. Has, by 1889, many continental countries using a form of secret ballot
A. (1974) The Minor Works of George
Grote, Lenox Hill, New York.
paraphrases part of Grote’s 25 April 1833 speech to the House of Commons: “In
 Wigmore, J. H. (1889) The Australian ballot system as embodied in the legislation of various countries, C.C. Soule, Boston.
 Scott, E. (1920) 'The History of the Victorian Ballot', The Victorian Historical Magazine, Vol VIII, pp1-14.p3
 Fredman, L. E. (1958) The Australian ballot: the story of an American reform, Michigan State University Press.px
 Ibid. p4
 Pember Reeves, W. (1969) State experiments in Australia and New Zealand, Macmillan.vol 1p73
 Instructions sent by the Chief Secretary’s office to returning officers for the 1856 Victorian elections apparently contained a diagram of the polling booth, but no copy has yet been found.
 Wright, J. F. H. (1980) Mirror of the Nation's Mind: Australia's Electoral Experiments, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney. P30
 Wakefield, E. (1889) 'The Australasian Ballot', The Forum, Vol VIII, pp148-158.
 “This”, Wakefield explains on page 153 “is absolutely necessary to in order to prevent or detect personation or double voting”, and apart from “some well-intentioned people who do not understand the subject”, those who object to the measure are “demagogues and grievance-mongers” (pg154).