The Ballot Box
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This 19th century ballot box retains the same principles as the votes in the House of Commons: The Ayes to the right , the Noes to the left. Usually Victorian ballot boxes just have a single collecting drawer, the voter choosing either a white (yes) or black ball (no) and simply dropping the ball in the opening at the top of the box. When all the votes are cast the drawer is opened and the number of black and white balls counted.
This unusual box enables the voter to place their hand in up to the wrist (they had fob watches at the time) and place the black ball in the Yes or the No drawer with complete discretion and anonymity. Some Mason’s Lodges also used these “black ball ballot boxes”. The one shown here is veneered and made near the end of the 19th century. It was used at The Royal Philatelic Society London to elect committee members.