Class Notes

1892 was the first election where all states moved to a secret ballot. The effect of the secret ballot was that voting turnout began to fall.  1888 was a pinnacle of voter turnout with 80% and from that point there began a slow steady decline.  The question is why. It was mainly because with the open ballot the parties did all they could to get out voters, basically turned voting day into a massive party.  They knew who would vote for them, often times even provided a filled-out ballot.  Yet with the secret ballot there was no guarantee of who people would vote for, so the parties stopped getting people to the polls.

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