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The Story Behind tells the extraordinary history of the ordinary. Everyday objects are more closely examined, from their ancient beginnings through the present—all within 5-10 minutes.

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Nov 7, 2016

If you live in the United States and you’re listening to this on the day it comes out, you may be feeling a number of different emotions about tomorrow’s election. From anger to confidence, fear to even indifference, you know that casting your ballot means you realize that your voice has the right to be heard and that your opinions on how this country should be run matters.

And, as long as you’re over the age of 18 and a citizen, you can walk into your local polling place and cast your ballot in complete secrecy, no matter what your family, friends or coworkers think of your candidate -- whoever you pick is known only to you. It’s something we now take for granted and, in this episode, we’ll talk about how public voting was influenced, how Australia set an international precedent, and just how recent the switch from public to personal voting was. I’m your host, Emily Prokop, and this is The Story Behind Secret Ballots.

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Media:

Music for Makers

Sources:

http://www.history.com/topics/the-26th-amendment

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/10/13/rock-paper-scissors

http://inthepastlane.com/tag/australian-ballot-in-america/

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/boss-tweed-delivered-to-authorities

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/abolish-the-secret-ballot/309038/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/WryVwsknTr-aa4IQ-ID9iQ

https://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,,-1051,00.html