Ballot, Maryland Free Soil party ticket, 1848.

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    For most of the 19th century, political parties controlled the printing and distribution of paper ballots, also known as party tickets. State election laws typically specified the dimensions and thickness of the paper and the size of type to be used. The rest was left to the issuing parties, local party operatives, and candidates. This resulted in various ballot forms and styles—and a potential for confusion and fraud.

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