Roman elections

I was out in Washington state last week and taken aback to find these ubiquitous “ballot boxes”. Many more than USPS drop boxes. Color me traditionalist! I have of necessity voted absentee on occasion, but I love the regularity of going to my polling place the first Tuesday following a Monday in November and actually casting a ballot. Morally superior persons will of course explain to me how this is disenfranchising people and I get it. They are morally superior and control the process. I can’t help but think that these drop boxes are several steps too far.

Our dear ancestors in this country believed in viva vice voting. You showed up and declared who you were voting for. That’s how it worked in the German state elections that I study. The problem with viva vice is that it was dangerous for subordinate men to challenge the choice of their betters. This was surely the case with the Romans, who conducted bloody elections. But the expectation was, man up.


About George Vascik, Historian

A 1988 graduate of the University of Michigan, I have taught history at Miami University since 1992. I maintain blogs on teaching Western Civilization and on Great War. My research focuses on anti-Semitism and rural politics in northwest Germany. I am completing a monograph for Bloomsbury Press, Anti-Semitism and Rural Politics. You can follow my project at Along with Mark Sadler, I have published a book of primary documents on the Stab-in-the-Back Myth (Dolchstoßlegende). I also invite you to visit my profession web page at
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s