Split Ticket Voting

884 WordsSep 3, 20144 Pages
Jerrold Rusk aims to examine the phenomena of split ticket voting and going back to its origin in order to effectively look at the electoral reforms that made voting a split ticket possible with an emphasis on the Australian Ballot reform measures of the 1890’s. Rusk puts forth two hypotheses the first surrounding the influence the Australian Ballot had in stimulating split ticket voting compared to the “unofficial party strip ballot.” (Rusk, 1222) The second is related to actual ballot composition and the “degree of partisan orientation” displayed. (Rusk, 12222) Rusk begins the article with a brief history on the evolution from the party strip ballot, which almost guarantees no split ticket voting, over to the principled Australian Ballot which focused on a government printed ballot and ensured “officiality, consolidation, and secrecy,” a novel idea for an election system. (Rusk, 1221) Rusk further discusses the initial formatting trends of the ballot including the two styles, which took hold initially were the “Massachusetts office bloc,” a ballot that grouped candidates for the same office together. (Rusk, 1221) While this ballot presented the candidates in the most non-partisan way the states often supplemented the ballot with party identification after the name of the candidate, party emblems, or the option for a straight ticket vote. (Rusk, 1223) The other popular model was the “Indiana party column,” which basically took the party strip ballots and put them next to

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