Commentary: The Secret Ballot Is Trump’s Secret Weapon

Americans take for granted that, when we step into the voting booth and cast our ballots, the choices we make will remain secret unless we voluntarily reveal them. Moreover, regardless of ideological bent, very few voters would approve of any attempt to lift that veil of privacy from the process. Yet the secret ballot was essentially unheard of in the United States until the mid-19th century, and it wasn’t adopted throughout the country until the 1890s. Before then, elections were conducted by voice or by color-coded tickets. The “shy Trump voter” could never survive in such an electoral environment. Thus, it’s unlikely that Trump could have been elected in 2016.

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