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Tasmania and the Secret Ballot


Newman, T, Tasmania and the Secret Ballot, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 49, (1) pp. 93-101. ISSN 0004-9522 (2003) [Refereed Article]

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The definitive published version is available online at:

DOI: doi:10.1111/1467-8497.00283


Encyclopaedias and handbooks, etc, all present Tasmania's starting date for implementing the secret ballot as 1858. But this research note argues the correct date was two years earlier in 1856. Moreover, before this, Tasmania's early 1830s participation in the Australia–wide proballot campaign, and its Constitutional inclinations towards the ballot have also been overlooked. To correct this omission relevant background is presented which highlights the riotous behaviour of pre–ballot elections. This is followed by a summary concerning the ballot's starting dates for Victoria and South Australia. Having confirmed these basic facts, further evidence is presented regarding Tasmania's true application of the secret ballot, including citations from a rare copy of the state's 1856 Electoral Act. In short, this "rediscovery" means that Tasmania definitely deserves a new place in the history of Australia's famous democratic innovation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Australian government and politics
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Electoral systems
UTAS Author:Newman, T (Mr Terry Newman)
ID Code:28782
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Government
Deposited On:2003-08-01
Last Modified:2010-07-20

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