Expert in Parliamentary voting to give talk in Pontefract

​Date: 03/11/2015
Ref: PR 5100

An expert in the history of Parliamentary voting is teaming up with specialists from Wakefield Council to give a talk in Pontefract about the history of elections.

In August 1872 Pontefract held the first secret ballot in Britain to elect a Member of Parliament, allowing people to vote in secret by placing an 'X' on the ballot paper next to the name of their choice. This changed the voting system, which had been open to influence and corruption as previously people had to say in public who they were voting for.

David Natzler, Clerk of the House of Commons is to give a talk about the history of secret voting, at Pontefract Town Hall on Friday November 13 from 12.30pm – 1.30pm.

He will be joined by Wakefield Council's museum curators David Evans and John Whitaker who will be talking about the Pontefract secret ballot. In the summer the duo gave a talk at the House of Commons about Pontefract's role in promoting democracy as part of an event to celebrate British democracy.

Cllr Les Shaw, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport at Wakefield Council said: "I am proud of Pontefract's historic role in  the  start of a democratic voting system in Britain. I'd urge people to book a ticket and come along to the talk."

To book a ticket ring 01924 302700 or pick one up from Pontefract Museum.

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