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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica


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A token used for voting by ballot against the election of a candidate for membership of a club or other association. Formerly white and black balls about the size of pigeons' eggs were used respectively to represent votes for and against a candidate for such election; and although this method is now generally obsolete, the term "blackball" survives both as noun and verb. The rules of most clubs provide that a stated proportion of "blackballs" shall exclude candidates proposed for election, and the candidates so excluded are said to have been "blackballed"; but the ballot is now usually conducted by a method in which the favourable and adverse votes are not distinguished by different coloured balls at all. Either voting papers are employed, or balls - of which the colour has no significance - are cast into different compartments of a ballotbox according as they are favourable or adverse to the candidate.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Blackball'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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