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Ballot Types and Ballot Access

Ballot Types and Ballot Access

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Ballot Types and Ballot Access

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  1. Ballot Types and Ballot Access • Early voting was informal, perhaps oral, otherwise voters had to create own ballots, hardly secret • Mass party competition (1840 on) led to Party Ballots • printed by parties • listing only party candidates • distribution to party supporters • hardly secret (differ-ently colored paper)

  2. Implications of Party Ballots • No “ballot access” problem • Hard for voters to “split ticket” • Enhances influence of party leaders • Easy to arrange (even on election eve) “fusion” between (major or minor) parties

  3. Australian Ballot Reform (~1890) • Government prints ballots • all voters receive same ballot at polling place • ballot list all candidates for all offices • secures secret ballot

  4. Implications of Australian Ballot • “Ballot access” must be regulated • filing fee, deposit, petition, etc. • Relatively easy for voter to “split ticket” • Reduces influence of party leaders • Partisan vs. non-Partisan ballots • U.K. vs. U.S. example • what information listed for each candidate? • Harder to “fuse” party tickets; in fact, “fusion” may be prohibited

  5. Fundamental Implication of Partisan Australian Ballot • Which candidate is entitled to be listed on the ballot under a given party label? • Leads to government (in U.S., state government) regulation of party organiza-tion and nominating procedures • in particular, in U.S. led to primary elections

  6. Two Formats for U.S. [Australian] Ballots • Relevant only if • ballot is partisan, and • two or more offices are at stake • especially relevant if many offices at stake [“long ballot”] • Party-Column/Line Ballot • arranged by party • in effect, several party ballots placed together • may allow “straight party” vote • does not encourage “split ticket” voting • question of party order on ballot • Office-Block Ballot • arranged by office • encourages “split ticket” voting • question of candidate order in each block

  7. A Party- Column Ballot (Indiana, 1956)

  8. An Office-Block Ballot (Massachusetts 1956)

  9. Presidential Election Ballots • Does ballot make any reference to Presidential electors? • Does ballot list Presidential elector candidates individually? • Does ballot allow/require voters to vote for electors individually? • Does the ballot indicate the candidates to whom the elector candidates are pledged? • Does state law allow “fusion” of elector candidate slates?

  10. Kansas (1960)

  11. Vermont (1960)

  12. Hawaii (1960)

  13. New York (1960)

  14. Alabama (1960)