Balloting for President

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Source: New York Public Library Digital Collections,

New York Public Library Digital Collections,

Editor’s note: The original caption to this image reads Inside a polling place: “The voter quietly takes his place in the stream; and, in his turn, finds himself in front of a table or long desk, on which are two small mahogany or green boxes of various shapes, long or square; generally about a foot square, with a little aperture on the top, to receive the folded tickets, and respectively marked S. and E.–S.–State Governor, Members of Assembly, and E. Electors, who are respectively pledged to elect–the Democratic or Whig candidate–President of the United States. Behind the table are two inspectors–one of each party–well-known and reputable citizens, chosen by the mayor. To either of these gentlemen, the voter presents his two folded tickets; giving, at the same time, his name and residence. These the inspector repeats in a loud voice to the crowded room–waits a second or two–and then deposits both tickets into their respective boxes; and the voter retires by an opposite door to that he entered by. This is the usual mode, and all that is necessary; the person and politics of the great mass of voters in each ward being sufficiently well-known to the challengers of both parties, and immediately written down in their betting books by two or three persons stationed near the table–under the head of Whig, Democratic, or Doubtful–so that, by dividing the doubtful in half, a pretty near guess can be arrived at.”

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