The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, OH)
As early as the 17th century in America, members of fraternal clubs often voted at their meetings without paper ballots. Many decisions had to be almost unanimous; just one “no” vote could defeat a project.
So, they used a blackball box instead of paper ballots. Each person was given a random number of black and white marbles. To vote no, a black marble was dropped in the box. The box had a board that covered the voter’s hand and marble so no one could see the vote. Each marble made a noise when it was dropped, so only one marble could be used. . .