Cedar ballot box. The Grand Order of Oddfellows used the ballot box when voting about the suitability or otherwise of a proposed new member. Members placed either a white or black marble in the appropriate side of the bowl. Black was a vote against the candidate; more than one black marble was enough to prevent the candidate from being elected. To guard the secrecy of individual votes, the Scrutineer would take the ballot box around a second time so that members could dispose of their other marbles which would have divulged their vote. The term 'Blackballing' originates from this voting practice.

The Grand United Order of Oddfellows no longer exists having merged with Manchester Unity in 1985.

Physical Description

Ballot box made of cedar with trim of lighter wood. Box has a bowl which is affixed to top of box. Bowl is divided in half with wooden crosspiece. Half of bowl interior is painted black and the other side was white. Two drawers in front occupy cavities to which the holes lead. Drawer on left (black) does not have a lock, drawer on right (white) can be locked.

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