Why is the Society called the H.S. Chapman Society?
It is because the author of the very first secret ballot was the Hon Henry Samuel Chapman who lived from 1803 to 1881. Originally born in Surrey, England, he emigrated to Canada and then to Australia. He was a barrister and then a judge. His first secret ballot was introduced in Victoria in 1856, 16 years before the United Kingdom’s Ballot Act of 1872. The secret ballot “combined secrecy with limited voting-tracing both protecting the elector and detected fraud when the results were in dispute”.
The Objects of the Society are shown via the link on the left, but the priciple objective of the Society is to “promote public understanding of the need to retain the necessary checks and balances within the United Kingdom’s electoral procedures, in order to ensure fair and transparently free elections”.
This is the first time that a non-partisan society has been formed that aims to provide a forum for electoral practitioners of all persuasions, whether they be political ‘apparatchiks’, electoral administrators or for anyone else interested in the United Kingdom’s electoral systems and procedures.