Is the Secret Ballot Racist?
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January 13, 2015, 05:19 AM
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I was recently reading somebody lamenting that, after the recent unpleasantness in Paris, the National Front was likely to get elected … because elections have secret ballots.

I don’t recall seeing a complaint before about secret ballots, but it struck me that in the age of the Social Media Justice Warrior, the idea that citizens — many of whom are no doubt racist and sexist — are allowed to vote however they want in the privacy of the voting booth without any electronic paper trail exposing them to the threat of public shaming and advertiser boycott would increasingly seem intolerable.

Who knows what sick things those cisgendered Islamophobes are doing all alone in their voting booths? It’s disgusting when you stop and think about. In a contemporary system, voting machines would take selfies and automatically share your vote to the world over Facebook and Twitter. How you vote should be on your Permanent Record so you can be fired for it later. Maybe at present we don’t have the power to persecute those who voted wrong in the past, but if voters knew that day was coming, that day would come faster!

In olden days, the secret ballot was long considered a hallmark of majoritarian democratic reform. British elections of MPs in the 18th century used open, public voting so that candidates could be sure that the voters they had bought stayed bought. The secret ballot was adopted in Revolutionary France in 1795.

In the Anglo-Saxon world, Australians, led by radical miners, adopted the secret ballot in the 1850s. Hence it came to be known as the “Australian ballot” in the U.S. In an early example of Progressive reformism, between 1888 and 1891 all American states adopted it.

But we all know now that those Progressive reformers were anti-immigrant haters. Their attempts to clean up politics were motivated by WASP supremacism. This whole notion of majority rule seems inherently anti-minority.

Still, I doubt if eliminating the secret ballot will be a high priority since it exposes the Logic of the Times a little too starkly.

You’d need some plausible victim group to get started. Blind people were unable to cast completely secret ballots since they had to whisper to somebody else how to mark their ballots. So the disabled could have been the opening ploy to getting the secret ballot considered discriminatory.

But then some spoilsport went and invented a voting machine usable by the blind.

But I bet you could easily shame, say, a classroom full of poly sci majors to vote against secret ballots as racist and homophobic … at least in a public vote being shared over social media.