First Automatic Secret Ballot Box

Contributed by Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery

First Automatic Secret Ballot Box

This is the first automatic secret ballot box. It was built and patented in Merthyr Tydfil by a grocer William Gould. William was a Chartist who campaigned for working class men to gain the vote. William realised that each man's vote must be kept secret so that industrialists and landowners couldn't influence their vote. The principle behind his ballot box was simple. Each voter had a token and each candidate their own ballot box. The voter put the token into the box of their choice and the vote was registered by the clock face on the box. However, despite campaigning, his idea was not adopted by the authorities.

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Merthyr Tydfil




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