|The Ballot Act of 1872 brought in secret ballots at elections, in
place of open voting. The intention was to stop bribery and prevent
landlords and employers from influencing voters. Initially the Act
had to be renewed by each Parliament, but it was finally made permanent
in 1918. The Act had the effect of ending rowdy public nominations,
and elections became more sober affairs.
Catalogue reference: HO 45/9306/12245, no. 65 (7 October 1872)