Thursday, September 25, 2008

Democracy: The Dark Ages

This transparent ballot box was used in North Carolina from the mid eighteen hundreds till about 1920, when North Carolina adopted the secret ballot box. Before that everyone could tell who you were voting for because of the color of the ballots.

Yes, you read correctly, even in America, Democracy had to be built bit by bit.

* Picture taken in the North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh.


Tantor said...

The upside of the transparent ballot box was that it was harder to stuff. If all the voters saw the box turning one color or the other, the officials could not flip it behind closed doors later. Maybe the transparency of the ballot boxes is a measure of how much the public trusts its government. Way back then, not much.

zeinab said...

that's actually a really interesting observation. never thought of that. thanks!