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Election Customs Change

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February 24, 2012 by wcobserver

To the Editor,

We have been taught in public schools that one of the important features of freedom is the “secret ballot.” The United States did not start out with a “secret ballot.” What we had was an open ballet and everyone was counted in front of the rest of the people who had gathered to vote.

From this process came the saying that a person was a “stand-up man.” Literally, if a man said that he was for someone and voted accordingly, standing for his choice as the votes were counted, he was indeed a “stand up man.” Virginia was the last of the original states to adopt a “secret bal- lot.”

Another change in the election process occurred in 1911. Prior to 1911 United States Senators were not elected by popular vote. Instead, Senators were elected by their respective State Legislators. If they did not adhere to the Constitution and States rights etc., they could be recalled / fired by the same legislators.

The President and Vice President did not necessarily come from the same faction or party. The one who got the most votes was named President and the one who garnered the second most votes be- came Vice President.

Many other changes to the electoral process have been made, most not necessarily good. No wonder many feel con- fused and decline to vote nowadays which is exactly what most of those in power want them to do or not to do.

John P. Fitts Noel, Missouri

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