Ticket Voting


Voter Choice
Party Authoirty
State Control
Identification of Voter Choice. The tickets in this section illustrate four ways individual voters could be identified from the party-printed tickets they deposited: the colorful and distinctive design of the front and/or back of the ticket, the voter’s signature on the ticket required in some elections, the highly visible portraits on the ticket, the slogans carried by the ticket.
Erosion of Party Authority. Because election tickets could be issued by any group or person, parties faced increasing difficulty in maintaining control over their preferred list of candidates. The tickets in this section illustrate four problems of party “brand control:” altered tickets, stolen candidates, splinter parties, and the inclusion of policy questions on a ticket.
Growth of State Control. The tickets in this section show how some states, in response to reform commissions or parties themselves, began regulating tickets, stipulating uniform standards of ticket size, color and the order of offices. Finally governments took over the printing of a single ballot listing all candidates: the secret ballot, almost reinvented in the US, used first in a 1888 Louisville city election and in a 1889 Massachusetts state election.