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This is What Democracy Looked Like

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A Visual History of the Printed Ballot

By Alicia Yin Cheng

This volume, the first illustrated history of printed ballot design, illuminates the noble but often flawed process at the heart of our democracy.

An exploration and celebration of US ballots from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this visual history reveals unregulated, outlandish, and, at times, absurd designs that reflect the explosive growth and changing face of the voting public.

The ballots offer insight into a pivotal time in American history—a period of tectonic shifts in the electoral system—fraught with electoral fraud, disenfranchisement, scams, and skullduggery, as parties printed their own tickets and voters risked their lives going to the polls.

Edited by Sara Stemen

Designed by MGMT.design

Published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2020

Hardcover, 176 pages, 200 color images, 6.75 × 10.25 inches

ISBN: 978-1-61-689887-8