An Introduction to Special Issue: The Causes and Consequences of Secret Ballot Reform

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article introduces a collection of papers that explore two understudied but critical questions of enduring concern for the study of democratization. Was the secret ballot driven by the same forces that drove the rise of democracy more generally? Did the secret ballot end electoral fraud, or was its effect merely endogenous to economic modernization more generally? This article provides historical context for the rise of the secret ballot, systematizing some of the complexities and ambiguities of the concept of the “secret ballot” itself. Second, we summarize the approach and some of the main findings of the papers in the volume, offering an outline of the broader lessons that emerge from the papers. Finally, we reflect upon the significance of a historical study of the secret ballot for technological and institutional reforms for contemporary democracy


External organisations
  • Harvard University
  • University of North Carolina
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-554
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number5
Early online date2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch

Related projects

Jan Teorell

Swedish Research Council


Project: ResearchIndividual research project

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