The PoliBlog

The Collective
Thursday, July 13, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

As most regular readers know, my main academic work focuses on democracy, parties and elections and the case I study the most is that of Colombia. Indeed, I am currently working on a book on Colombian democracy development.

One of the things I find interesting in general about elections are ballots and noticed that online there aren’t many examples of Colombian ballots, so I thought I would add my own collection to the vast store of data that is the internet by putting up some examples.

The first is the septima papeleta or the “seventh ballot” from the March 11, 1990 elections. The seventh ballot was an attempt (which was ultimately successful) to convoke a constituent assembly to replace the 1886 Colombian constitution. The ballot was not an official one, but it was decided that it be counted, and was used by then President Barco (1986-1990) to forward the call for such an assemebly–as the issue of constitutional reform had been part of his agenda, but that had failed to that point in time.

The March 1990 congressional elections were the last that used the papeleta system, i.e., non-state produced ballot distributed in newspapers and so forth. There were six official ballots for that election, hence the “seventh” designation for this one. A voter would place each ballot that had their preferred candidates on it into an envelop for voting. Placing the seventh ballot into the envelope was an unofficial vote “yes” for a constituent assembly. Over a million seventh ballots were cast.

The following is a digital photograph of a photocopy I made at the Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá in 1994 or 1995 from the pages of El Tiempo (page 11A from the March 8, 1990 edition, to be precise):

La Septima Papeleta

I will hopefully achive other ballot examples I have in my collection (which are primarily Colombian). Indeed, as I type this, I am thinking that my next example should be other papeletas, to give a better idea of what I am talking about.

FYI: I did previously post a copy of the 2024 Colombian Presidential Ballot here. It is an example of a tarjetón, a government-produced ballot which have been in use in one for or another in Colombian elections since the May 27, 1990 presidential elections.

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    1. Great idea to post. I should do the same. I have a file full of these. One of the remarkable things about the septima (aside from the things you note) is that there were so many variants on the idea. I even found some that were hand written, others that were cut out of newspapers, etc.

      Some day I will post. Promise!

      (I was there for that 1990 election. What fun!)

      Comment by Matthew Shugart — Friday, July 14, 2024 @ 7:01 pm

    2. saedfsdgsdg

      Comment by SAEDFSADAS — Tuesday, July 25, 2024 @ 5:16 pm

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