Object: Ballot Box
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Unknown (cabinetmaker), 1916, New Zealand
x 330mm (Width)
x 240mm (Depth)
|Credit line||Gift of the New Zealand Immigration Service, 1989|
This ballot box was used for military service ballots during World War I, following the passage into law of the Military Service Act, 1916. The box was also used for ballots for military service during World War II, and for National Military Service (also known as Compulsory Military Training) ballots from 1949 till 1972.
New Zealand's ballot system
In 1916, New Zealand developed a unique method of calling men up for compulsory military service. Most nations called up all their young men, usually when they turned 18. New Zealand, however, introduced a system of monthly balloting. This involved drawing numbered marbles from a small wooden barrel that had been rotated to scramble the balls, and then matching the them with numbers on cards bearing the names of men aged between 17 and 60 who had registered for service under the National Registration Act, 1915. The Military Service Act had initially imposed conscription on Päkehä only, but this was extended to Mäori in June 1917. By the time of the Armistice in November 1918, over 30,000 New Zealand men had been conscripted by ballot for military service.
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