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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware this website contains images, voices and names of people who have died.

Defining Moments: Secret ballot

In 1856, Victoria introduced the modern secret ballot and gave voting rights to all adult male citizens. See this defining moment in Australia’s history brought to life, as written by historian David Hunt.


1. What was the British open voting system?

2. What were the advantages of the secret ballot? Do you agree that it was a better system of voting?

3. Why do you think the secret ballot was later taken up by other democracies, including Britain?