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Ballot Box

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1965T5305
Collection:Social History - Pinto Collection
Date:1700 - 1800


This 18th century ballot box is made from mahogany. It was used by a private society for electing members to various posts of authority.Casting votes in secret (secret ballot) was used by a number of societies in England in the 18th century, although it was not used for parliamentary elections until 1872. This ballot works by placing white balls, if you supported the candidate, and black ones if you did not, into the circular hole. Once everyone had cast their votes, the drawer was opened and if it contained all white balls the person was elected.

Purchased from Edward H Pinto, 1965.

Further Information

Production Period:18th century
Medium:Veneered wood.
Place of Origin:England


Height:25 cm
Width:18 cm
Depth:23 cm
Diameter:12.5 cm