Card Check Quip

Jimmy Hoffa suggests the ballot box isn’t a cornerstone of democratic freedom:

“Since when is the secret ballot a basic tenet of democracy?” Hoffa said. “Town meetings in New England are as democratic as they come, and they don’t use the secret ballot. Elections in the Soviet Union were by secret ballot, but those weren’t democratic.”

Mark Steyn has a great comeback:

The day Jimmy Hoffa shows up at my Town Meeting is the day we move to paper ballots.

Of course, town meeting governments sometimes do use secret ballots either for votes over a certain dollar amount or when a certain percentage of the voters request it.

The debate calls to mind Jill Lepore’s outstanding New Yorker article on why the U.S. adopted the Australian Ballot (that is the secret ballot) for most voting in the first place. It happened surprisingly late.

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