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Wednesday, October 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Matter of Opinion

Secret ballots and the history of voting

A recent release from U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's office contains a questionable comment:

The Democratic leadership in Congress is pushing through a measure to eliminate secret ballots. Yes, you heard me right - the very foundation of our system of government is being shaken up by those elected to serve you.

I should note that the legislation Craig's office refers to involves union elections. But to read more about the history of American voting -- including the fact that the secret ballot wasn't introduced in this country until decades after the foundation of our government -- check this interesting Web site.

Or if you really want to delve into the subject, read Michael Schudson's "The Good Citizen: a History of American Civic Life." It describes the early days of this nation when election day consisted of voters (aka white men who owned property) turning out on the town green and declare their choice by where they stood.

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