Front Page Titles (by Subject) Section 5.: Election Apparatus. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 3
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Section 5.: Election Apparatus. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 3 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 3.
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Art. I. In the whole of its texture, and in this section in particular, the act has for its main end the prevention of the following evils, all of them incident to the election process, that is to say,—
1. Mis-election, Non-election, and Null-election: mis-election, by the election of persons positively unfit, or less fit than would have been returned otherwise: mis-election, to wit, by want of secresy of suffrage, and thence by want of freedom, as against intimidation and corruption.
2. Needless delay, vexation, and expense, by length of journeys to and from the place of election, and of demurrage there.
3. Tumults; that is to say, injuries to person or property, openly inflicted by persons assembled in large numbers, in a state of irritation.
4. Vexation and expense to individuals, by litigation respecting rights of suffrage.
5. Needless expense to the public, in respect of the process employed.
It has thereby for its main end the securing to the public, in respect of the election process, the several benefits of due election, dispatch, tranquillity, and economy.
Art. II. In respect of time, accidents excepted, the election process is accordingly thus ordered:
1. In every polling-district the voting process is to be completed in one day.
2. In every election-district the votes are, on the next day, to be received, from the several polling-district offices, at the election-district office; and the return being then made up, is, on that same day, to be thence transmitted to the national-election office.
3. These days shall be each of them the same, in every election-district throughout the United Kingdom; or at least in Great Britain and Ireland respectively.
4. To this end it is so ordered, as that each man’s title to vote shall have been established, by a day, anterior by a sufficient length of time to the voting day. See Section 7.
5. And this in such sort as that, setting aside the cases of forgery, fraudulent personation, and certainly provable and punishable falsity of assertion—for no one of which offences any adequate temptation can, it is believed, present itself—no such title shall stand exposed to litigation or adverse contestation.
Art. III. Here follows a specification of the apparatus, and corresponding set of operations hereinafter immediately described, by means of which, for the purposes just mentioned, the election process is in each district to be carried on:—
No. 1. Proposed Member’s blank recommendatory certificates. Tenor, as per Section 3. Form and size such as are suitable for placarding.
No. 2. Blank vote-making certificates. Tenor, as per Section 2.
No. 3. Sets of voting name-cards: to be used as per Section 8.
No. 4. Sets of secret-selection boxes, for selecting name cards: to be used as per Section 8.
No. 5. Sets of vote-receiving boxes for receiving name-cards when selected: to be used as per Section 8.
No. 6. Sets of name-card boxes, or compartments, for containing the name-cards, while in the selection boxes.
No. 7. Sets of distinction tickets, for distinguishing from one another, and from the surrounding multitude, by universally conspicuous marks, the voters and other classes of persons, bearing different parts in the election process: to be used as per Article VII.
No. 8. Stereotype plates, for printing blank recommendatory certificates, as per Sections 3, 6.
No. 9. Stereotype plates, for printing blank vote-making certificates, as per Sections 2, 7.
No. 10. Printing presses, or other machines, for printing or stamping blank certificates, voting-cards, and distinction tickets.
Art. IV. A voting-card is composed of two oblong slips, of exactly the same size and shape; each of them (suppose) two inches by one inch, forming together a square: applied one upon another, they exactly coincide.
1. On one side of each of them, the name of a candidate, the same name on each, is either stamped, or in case of necessity, written.
2. With the exception of the name, they are, each of them, white on the stampt side, black on the other side.
3. They are connected together by two hinges, each formed of a piece of thread, one near one end of the length, the other at an equal distance from the other end.
4. When the two slips are applied, one upon another, the only two surfaces exposed to view are both of them black, and the name which is on the white surfaces, is unperceivable.
For the mode of voting by means of one of these cards, see Section 8.
Art. V. A secret-selection box, is a box in and from which the voter selects the name of the proposed member for whom he intends to vote.
1. Within this box are name-boxes: in number not less than that of the proposed members.
2. Each box contains as many voting cards as there are persons entitled to vote in that polling district; all presenting to view, as per Art. IV. the name of the same proposed member.
3. In form, the selection box resembles a hot-bed frame, or a tradesman’s show-glass, of that sort which has a sloping front.
4. In size it is (suppose) about two feet in length by one foot in width; and in depth, in front one foot, at the back 15 inches.
5. In the back board, is a plate of ground glass, for the letting in of light, without rendering any objects within it visible.
6. In each of the sides is a hole, large enough to let in a hand with part of the forearm, in such sort that a man’s two hands may meet within it to facilitate the selection of the intended name.
7. In the top is a narrow plate of glass not ground, of such form and size as to enable a voter to see the several boxes with their several contents, and thus select the name of the proposed members for whom he intends to vote: but in such sort that nothing within the box shall at that time be visible to any other person.
8. Lest, by the place of the hands while selecting, it should be known, or guessed, from what proposed member’s box a voter has selected his card, the boxes are so disposed, that no name can be reached on either side, till the arm has been considerably advanced within the box.
9. In this view, the space destined for each proposed member’s voting cards is distributed into different boxes; and in situation the different boxes allotted to different members are made to alternate one with another.
10. Or else the whole number of cards together may be lodged promiscuously in one and the same receptacle.
11. The receptacles may be either separate boxes, or compartments made in the same box.
12. In the boxes, the cards are placed with the inscribed sides uppermost.
13. Each selection box is made to contain name-cards for six proposed members, and no more.
14. Should the number of the proposed members ever exceed this number, each successive proposed member, or his recommenders must, at the production of the recommendatory certificate, furnish, at their own expense, a selection-box, capable of containing name-boxes equal in number to the whole number of proposed members constituted by the addition which they respectively make.
Art. VI. A vote-receiving box is a box of cast-iron, or other sufficiently strong and cheaper metal, if such there be:—
1. In form it is (suppose) a double cube, standing on one of its small sides.
2. In size, it is large enough to receive and keep concealed a number of voting cards, equal to that of the whole number of persons entitled to vote in the polling-district in which it is employed.
3. On the top is a lid, which opens by a hinge, and when closed rests on a rim, so as to form one surface with the remainder of the plane into which it fits: in such sort, that when sealing wax, being dropt on it, has been impressed with a seal, the lid cannot be opened unless the seal is broken.
4. In this lid is a slit, into which, at the time of voting, the cards are successively dropped. Near this slit rises a pin, on which slides a metallic plate, by which the slit is occasionally closed.
5. In form and dimensions, the slit is so ordered as to receive the cards with ease, without exposing the name to view, as they are dropt in, or afterwards.
Art. VII. Here follows the description of a distinction ticket:—
1. Place where worn, the front of the hat.
2. Material, cotton, or any other cloth, if cheaper, that will not tear or spoil by wet.
3. Size and form, such as to cover the front half of the crown of the hat.
4. Colour of the border, and of the letters of an inscription included within it, different according to the class.
5. For poll-clerks and their occasional deputies and assistants (suppose) black; for constables, blue; for proposed member’s agents, green; for voters, red.
6. Contents of the inscription, the name of the individual; beneath it, the name of the class to which, as above, he belongs.
Art. VIII. For the purpose of the first election—from the national-election office, may be furnished, to the several polling offices, accompanied with necessary descriptions and instructions, the several implements following; to wit—
1. Secret-selection boxes.
2. Vote-receiving boxes.
3. Stereotype plates, for printing blank recommendatory certificates.
4. Stereotype plates, for printing blank vote-making certificates.
5. Printing presses, or other machines, for printing or stamping blank certificates, voting cards, and distinction tickets, as above.
The use of these stereotypes and presses is to prevent the stock from being exhausted, by accidents, negligence, or design, in such sort that before a sufficient supply can be obtained, the voting process may be delayed, or even frustrated, and thus mis-election, non-election, or null-election, may ensue.
Art. IX. For dispatch, or economy in respect of construction and carriage, the election-master-general may appoint any other place or places, in which the above articles, or any of them, shall be constructed, and from which they shall be conveyed to their respective destinations.
In this case, instead of the articles themselves in the requisite quantity, let specimens or models be transmitted from the office.
Art. X. When once provided, the several implements shall be kept in the offices to which they respectively belong.
At the expense of the counties in which the offices are respectively situated, the implements shall, in proportion as they are consumed, or become decayed or useless, be, from time to time, repaired or replaced, as the case may require.