poll book


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poll book

a book showing the names of voters and details of how they voted in Parliamentary and other elections. Produced up to 1872, when the secret ballot was introduced in Britain, poll books are an invaluable source of information on voting behaviour in previous centuries. Poll books often contain information on the occupations of voters and have been used to show how different social groups voted in the past. Their value can be enhanced by using them in conjunction with other historical sources such as the 19th-century CENSUS enumeration books, TRADE DIRECTORIES and RATE BOOKS.