Australian ballot


Australian ballot
a ballot containing the names of all the candidates for public office, handed to the voter at the polling station to be marked in secret: so called because it originated in Australia. Cf. Indiana ballot, Massachusetts ballot, office-block ballot.
[1885-90, Amer.]

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also called  Secret Ballot,  

      the system of voting in which voters mark their choices in privacy on uniform ballots printed and distributed by the government or designate their choices by some other secret means. Victoria and South Australia were the first states to introduce secrecy of the ballot (1856), and for that reason the secret ballot is referred to as the Australian ballot. The system spread to Europe and America to meet the growing public and parliamentary demand for protection of voters. The means for securing secrecy vary considerably.

      Voting by Australian ballot usually takes place in a prescribed manner. The voting boxes are required to be of certain dimensions and closed, the only aperture being a small slit at the top. These containers are examined before the poll begins and cannot be opened until the count begins. The voter marks a ballot, often while standing in a special booth, and (after the voter's right to vote is verified) the vote is placed inside the container.

      In Great Britain (United Kingdom) the secret ballot was finally introduced for all parliamentary and municipal elections by the Ballot Act of 1872. In the United States, the Australian ballot system was extensively adopted after the presidential election of 1884.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Australian ballot — Aus*tra li*an bal lot (Law) A system of balloting or voting in public elections, originally used in South Australia, in which there is such an arrangement for polling votes that secrecy is compulsorily maintained, and the ballot used is an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Australian ballot — ☆ Australian ballot n. an official ballot listing candidates for election to public office and issues, levies, etc., distributed inside the polling place to be marked by the voter in secret: it originated in Australia and is widely used in the… …   English World dictionary

  • australian ballot — noun Usage: usually capitalized A : an official ballot printed at public expense on which the names of all the nominated candidates appear and which is distributed only at the polling place and marked in secret see indiana ballot, massachusetts… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Australian ballot — An official ballot on which the names of all the candidates are printed. Its use is accompanied by safeguards designed to maintain secrecy in voting. The so called Australian ballot laws, widely adopted in various forms in the United States, have …   Black's law dictionary

  • Australian ballot — An official ballot on which the names of all the candidates are printed. Its use is accompanied by safeguards designed to maintain secrecy in voting. The so called Australian ballot laws, widely adopted in various forms in the United States, have …   Black's law dictionary

  • Australian ballot — See Australian ballot system …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Australian ballot — noun The secret ballot system of voting in which voting is done in private on a state issued ballot and ballots incorrectly marked set aside as invalid …   Wiktionary

  • Australian ballot — noun Date: 1888 an official ballot printed at public expense on which the names of all the candidates and proposals appear and which is distributed only at the polling place and marked in secret …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Australian ballot — Austral′ian bal′lot n. gov a ballot containing the names of all the candidates for public office, handed to a voter at a polling place to be marked in secret: it originated in Australia • Etymology: 1885–90, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • Australian ballot — /əstreɪljən ˈbælət/ (say uhstraylyuhn baluht) noun Chiefly US, British a ballot which ensures secrecy in voting. {so called because this system was first used in South Australia} …   Australian English dictionary


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