Clubs and organisations have been electing members for centuries. CorpVote are utilising some of the most advanced voting and election technologies – but how was it done in the old days?
This cedar ballot box pictured was used by the Grand Order of Oddfellows when voting on the suitability 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 (GUOOF), was originally established in England in the late 1700s and began in Australia around 1844. The first Sydney lodge—Travellers’ Home No 731—was operating in 1845 and by 1848 there were three additional lodges. In 1854, the Port Phillip District of Grand United separated from the New South Wales branch to establish Grand United in Victoria. In 1877, the Queensland lodges also separated and established their own management committee. Eventually the Queensland and NSW branches merged to form Grand United Friendly Society (NSW), and in 1986, Grand United (Vic) merged with Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows (Vic). In March 2005, the Grand United Friendly Society (NSW) merged with Australian Unity.
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