We came across Roleigh Martin a few days ago, on X, with this long and interesting read on an old voting system the ‘Voto Segreto’ – the ‘Secret Vote’, that apparently originated in Italy and was used with some success for 70 odd years between 1848 and 1922. I confess a long lasting and ongoing desire to build a truly democratic society, a citizens society, free of vested interests and wholly owned professional politicians. This world from Roleigh resparked my interest and came at a welcome time to rescue me from the spreadsheets of death and destruction that has been visited on the human race this last century….

It is also refreshing to see Roleigh engage in conversation with AI in doing his research, something I have not quite caught up with as yet, but I will let Roleigh enlarge his concept in his own words

T. Broomfield (Snr Ed )

“You can follow the author on X at x.com/RoleighMartin “.

This Articles original URL…


The US legislature is mostly controlled by powerful forces, not by the expressed desires of the public.  However, a legislature operated from 1848 to 1922 in Italy where powerful forces couldn’t control them.  But in 1922 when the Fascists overtook Italy, they mandated the method used in Congress now, a method controlled through coercion, bribery, blackmail, intimidation, etc.

Last updated: 6/8/2024 11:02 PM EST




May 28, 2024 FORWARD

This is my current favorite X article.  It is not my most popular, but it is my current favorite because it shows that my proposal for anonymous, secure, secret legislative voting is not a radical or a new idea.  It has a rich history.  I’m working on another X article to hopefully release in the next few weeks that covers another historical example that lasted for several hundred years with a legislature using this method of legislative voting.

A functional, brave Congress is needed now more than before.  But recall that Tucker Carlson says most Congressmen are terrified of their more powerful controllers.

Think of the powerful Congress-controlling lobbyist organizations & 3 letter agencies and their power over Congress as akin to the Catholic Church in Italy in the 1800s.  Yet the Italian parliament legislated without fear of the Catholic Church because they used anonymous, secret legislative voting (‘Voting Segredo’), where the vote is so anonymous that legislators cannot prove to bribers how they voted.

They used this method 74 consecutive years but then the Nazi-controlled Fascists overtook Italy and they forced the parliament to vote the American way (fully transparent and easy to control/intimidate).  Article 1, Section 5, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution fully allows anonymous, secret legislative voting though.  It only takes 50.1% of either the House or the Senate to vote that way in that chamber.  For more about the constitutionality of it, read my X article, “Experts Agree: Constitution Has 2 Legislation Options but One Has Only Been Used Elsewhere”.

For those concerned about knowing whether to re-elect your legislator or not, my X articles go in depth about that question, showing not only better metrics but also explaining that preserving the status quo of full transparency in legislative votes, needed legislation will never appear on the floor for a vote (do you think the current Congress would ever vote for a 25% reduction in any 3 letter agency budget?).  If they could vote the way it was done in the Italian Parliament, they’d easily could.

If you study the history of the two methods to legislate, it becomes quickly apparent if you want a corrupted legislature, you go with the current American legislative voting method but the other way is available.

If highly corrupt government & runaway debt concerns you (our national debt grows $1 Trillion every 100 days), please talk your followers into following me and repost!  Imagine if I had a follower count of 500,000 — it might be enough to get the attention of those with vast media reach ( @elonmusk , @TuckerCarlson , @charliekirk11 , @WarRoomPandemic , @joerogan ).

If any of these accounts, or equivalent accounts became sold on this constitutional option, along with the recommended countermeasures (I owe @SheilaG2024 for inspiring me to plug in those protections), plus the splitting of one ten-thousandth of a realized budget surplus with all the legislators (in other words, game theory plus the constitutional option), we could have a Congress that the MAGA and RFK Jr supporters rave about (plus a lot of the private sector working class Democrats).  For a concise overview of the 5 point pledge, read my X Article, “A Pledge for Congressional Candidates to Ensure a Clean & Fantastic Congress.

It’s my dream to see a functional Congress passing annually budget surpluses and obtaining record public approvals in the polls happen in my lifetime.  But at age 74, I have to move quickly.  Since I did my Master’s thesis in 1977 on improving the legislative process, it was not until 6 months ago, that I thought of a non- electronic, method of secure, anonymous legislative voting (where legislators cannot prove how they vote).  I was thrilled when I found out it is nearly 99% identical to the ‘Voto Segreto’ mechanical procedure used in Italy for the years 1848-1922 and 1943-1988.  This X article below delves into this Italian parliamentary precedent.

Last, be sure and read the last section in this article below, “The Improvement to Legislative Secret Voting Proposal of Mine”.  It is vitally important.

The Article

Interestingly the US Constitution’s clauses on how Congress can legislate allows the US to do the same as was done in Italy. That is discussed in detail in my other X articles, most concisely in my article, “A Pledge for Congressional Candidates to Ensure a Clean & Fantastic Congress”. But this article is about the historical precedent. What was the big difference in legislating with the Italian legislature?

The main difference is the use of ‘voto segreto’ or anonymous legislative secret voting, where not only does the public, party leaders, the government, or lobbyists not know how a legislator votes, it also prevents the legislator from proving to anyone how they voted (they can’t sell their vote!).

Before continuing, I know many object to this type of voting.  But read on, the pros vastly outweigh the cons.  it worked for 119 years in Italy (interrupted by 21 years of it being prohibited during the Fascist/Nazi takeover of Italy, but resumed afterwards. There are reasons it ended in 1988 and this article proposes countermeasures to have it work more successfully.

In contrast, the current operating mode of Congress has totally failed and this short paragraph succinctly proves it. The US House of Representatives, via the Constitution, is principally responsible for the Budget. Yet, the last time the US had a budget surplus, realized at the end of the fiscal year, was 1957. The website, thebalancemoney.com provides the data. Some people think 2001 was the last year, but that was a declared budget surplus at the beginning of the fiscal year. The outstanding debt has to be reduced at the end of the fiscal year in order to state a budget surplus was realized. It was reduced $2.2 Billion dollars in 1957. The above link uses data from fiscaldata.treasury.gov in case anyone wants the raw data.  In contrast, as the title of a CNBC article states, “The U.S. national debt is rising by $1 trillion about every 100 days.”

One has to go back to 1924, over a hundred years ago, to see the Congress throughout a President’s term (President Calvin Coolidge) have the national debt reduced at the end of his term (1929) compared to the beginning of his term (1923). It was reduced $5.3 Billion dollars for those six fiscal years (from thebalancemoney.com source again).  Americans have been changing the personalities in Congress for 100 years and it still is an abysmal failure. There are hundreds of additional reasons to fail the operating performance of Congress, but its increasing of the national debt is alone reason to give it a F-.  A fun audiobook or book about this is the book, Coolidge, by Amity Shlaes.

Contrast this Historical Italian Legislative Voting with the US Legislature Method of Voting

In contrast, the method of voting in the US Congress is mostly open/transparent voting, where the public, lobbyists, government agencies, etc., know how a legislator votes. The US Constitution allows different voting methods however. It minimally requires, if 20% or more of the legislators request such, to have a 100% tally of the Yeses and Nos, but the Constitution does not verbatim require the names alongside the Yeses and Nos.

Read the US Constitution: Article 1, Section 5, Paragraph 3: “Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.”

Relevance of Researching Italian History for Reforming the US Congress

This X article delves into the Italian historical precedent and provides the available research. In the book, “Secrecy and Publicity in Votes and Debates” edited by Jon Elster (Cambridge University Press, 2015, chapter contributor, Daniela Giannetti, writes: “The Constitution of the Kingdom of Italy promulgated by King Charles Albert of Savoy in 1848 gave formal recognition to secret voting, making it compulsory for the final vote on bills.  Voting via secret ballot at any stage of the legislative process could be requested by ten deputies or eight senators. This number was increased to twenty in the (lower) Chamber and ten in the Senate in 1868. It was decided that secret voting would prevail over open voting if competing requests were put forth.”

There is some information in English but poorly descriptive. I do not read nor speak Italian and relied on the translating skills of various AI engines to make sense of it. I provide Italian citations for any Italian reader who cares to provide feedback in the comments. (If privacy is desired, you can direct message (DM) me at @RoleighMartin.)

I wrote three X articles proposing a nearly identical method of legislative voting for America before I discovered this historical precedent.  I think the Italian method lacks some of the necessary features it needed to be resurrected in Italy until the modern day (after the Fascist/Nazi period of Italy ended). In reality, the use of ‘voto segreto’ did resurrect in Italy in 1943 but ended in 1988 due to the desire of party leaders to end the method (for obvious control reasons).  It could have and should have continued but it had a couple of shortcomings.  I’ll comment more on this later.  I am sharing this X article with Italian experts seeking feedback. Follow me for updates.

The fact that this method of voting was used in Italy for 119 years, indicates that the public accepted this method of voting. According to observations by historians, this method enabled the Legislature to avoid strong capture by negative, coercive powers/agencies such as powerful lobbyists, powerful government agencies, party leaders, the chief executive officer of the country, powerful opinion makers such as the media, political consultants, and powerful companies (operating outside of lobbyists). In Italy, it also included the Catholic Church.

The Italian political scientist, Daniela Giannetti, in his paper, “Secret Voting in the Italian Parliament” wrote: “Parliaments in the nineteenth century used secret voting to protect the freedom and autonomy of representatives from interference, or control, by a monarch or royalist government. This was consistent with both the trustee model of representation championed by Edmund Burke and J.S. Mill and the organization of parliaments before the extension of the franchise.” Elsewhere, “secret voting was in practice used primarily as a strategic tool by governing parties’ factions and opposition parties to shape the content of legislation and determine the composition of governments.”

AI Engines Dive into Italian History and Describes how the Italian Legislature Voted

Various Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engines were used to find out procedurally and mechanically how did the Italian Parliament conduct a ‘Voto Segreto’ (Secret Vote). Some of these engines are literate in multiple languages. One of the Engines were limited in their ability to answer my prompts such as Microsoft’s CoPilot. It responded “The ‘voto segreto’ or secret voting in the Italian Parliament during the mid 1900s was indeed a unique process. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find specific details about the use of balls and urns in the voting process during that period.”

X’s AI, Grok, Describes Legislative Secret Voting

Starting with X’s AI Engine, Grok, I show my interaction with it and its response. My questions (prompts) are in bold and italicized. Its responses are in the normal font. The first question I asked twice, once accidentally saying “mid 1900s” and the other time, “mid 1800s”. Reviewing its responses, the method improved in the mid-1900s, so I am showing the mid-1900s method. Voto Segreto was used from 1848-1922 and 1943-1988 in the Italian Parliament.


Exactly how did ‘voto segreto’ work in the Italian Parliament in the mid 1900s? They used balls and urns, right? Can you describe how the legislative voting happened?


Yes, the voting system in the Italian Parliament in the mid-1900s used a method known as “voto segreto” (secret ballot) that involved the use of balls and urns. This method was used to ensure the secrecy of the voting process and prevent any form of coercion or influence on the voting members.

Here’s a general overview of how the legislative voting using balls and urns worked:

  1. Preparation: Before the voting session, a set of balls, typically colored white and black, were prepared. The white balls represented a vote in favor, while the black balls represented a vote against. These balls were placed in a container, often referred to as an urn.
  2. Secrecy: Each voting member was given a ballot, a piece of paper that was folded and sealed to maintain secrecy. The voting member would then choose either a white or black ball to represent their vote.
  3. Casting the Vote: The voting member would then proceed to a voting booth, where they would insert their chosen ball into a slit in the ballot. The ballot and the ball would then be placed in a second container, another urn, which was used to collect all the votes.
  4. Counting the Votes: Once all the votes had been cast, the ballots were removed from the second urn and the balls were separated by color. The number of white and black balls were counted to determine the outcome of the vote.
  5. Announcing the Result: The results of the vote were then announced, with the number of votes in favor (white balls) and against (black balls) being made public.

This method ensured the secrecy of the voting process, as the voting members were not required to reveal their choice publicly. It also provided a physical and tangible way to count and verify the votes, reducing the risk of errors or manipulation in the counting process.


Was the purpose of the ballot nothing more than to wrap around the ball to hide the color of the ball?


The purpose of wrapping the ball in the ballot was indeed to hide the color of the ball, ensuring the secrecy of the voting process. This method allowed the voting members to cast their votes anonymously, without revealing their choice to others. The color of the ball (white for a vote in favor and black for a vote against) would only be revealed once the ballots were opened and the balls were separated by color. This ensured a fair and secret voting system, preventing any form of coercion or influence on the voting members.


But how did they secretly pick the desired ball color? Did they pick both colored balls, but only use one?


In the voting system used in the Italian Parliament in the mid-1900s, the process of selecting the desired ball color (white for a vote in favor or black for a vote against) was indeed a secret and secure method to ensure a fair and anonymous voting process. The voting members would first select both a white and a black ball to prevent others from knowing their choice. They would then insert one of the balls, the one representing their vote, into a ballot, which would then be folded or sealed to conceal the color of the ball. The ballot and the ball would then be placed in a voting urn.

This method allowed each voting member to make their selection in private, without revealing their choice to others, thus preventing any form of coercion or influence on the voting process. The secrecy was maintained until the votes were counted, with the white and black balls being separated by color to determine the outcome of the vote. This process ensured the secrecy of the voting system, as the voting members were not required to reveal their choice publicly.


But couldn’t the legislator show to a lobbyist the remaining, pocketed ball and that would show the lobbyist that the legislator voted the opposite way? Could not the legislator then sell his vote?


Yes, theoretically, a legislator could show a lobbyist the remaining, pocketed ball to reveal their vote, thereby potentially selling their vote. This would be a way for the legislator to circumvent the secrecy of the voting system and potentially engage in corruption. However, such actions would be unethical and likely illegal, as they undermine the principles of democracy and fair representation.


It’s strange they did not have a discard urn to put the undesired ball (wrapped also in a ballot to hide its color). The method sounds like it had a big loophole.


The voting system with balls and urns in the Italian Parliament in the mid-1900s did indeed have a potential loophole that could allow a legislator to show the color of the ball they were supposed to cast, revealing their vote. This could potentially lead to a situation where a legislator could sell their vote. However, it’s important to note that such actions would be unethical and likely illegal, as they undermine the principles of democracy and fair representation. The system was designed to ensure a secret and fair voting process, but like any system, it could be subject to abuse by individuals.

[End of Grok]

Commentary: The noticeable difference in ‘Voto Segreto’ between the mid-1800s and mid-1900s was the use of the piece of paper to wrap around the ball to hide it from view. So the use of the hand wrapped around the ball was used to hide the ball color in the mid-1800s. It seems the parliament tightened up the secrecy of the procedure in the mid-1900s.

OpenAI’s AI, ChatGPT, Describes Legislative Secret Voting

OpenAI’s ChatGPT 3-5 answered almost identically to how X’s GAB did for how Voto Segreto worked in the mid-1800s not the mid-1900s. It left out the paper wrapper introduced in the 1900s. A minor detail, as it was not used in the mid-1800s.

If you wonder about the similarity in wording to X’s Grok, note in the Terms of Use for ChatGPT, it has this paragraph: “Similarity of content. Due to the nature of our Services and artificial intelligence generally, output may not be unique and other users may receive similar output from our Services. Our assignment above does not extend to other users’ output or any Third Party Output.”


Exactly how did ‘voto segreto’ work in the Italian Parliament in the mid 1900s? They used balls and urns, right? Can you describe how the legislative voting happened?


Yes, you’re referring to the “voto segreto” or secret ballot system that was used in the Italian Parliament in the mid-1900s. Here’s how it worked:

Preparation: Before the voting session, each member of parliament would be given a small, usually colored, ball. These balls were typically made of wood or another lightweight material.

Voting: When it came time to vote on a particular issue or legislative measure, MPs would go to a designated area where there were several urns or containers, each representing a different choice or option. These urns were often placed in a secluded area to ensure the secrecy of the vote.

Casting the Vote: Each member would then drop their ball into the urn corresponding to their choice. Since the vote was secret, nobody else could see which urn they were depositing their ball into, preserving the anonymity of their vote.

Counting: After all the MPs had cast their votes, the urns would be opened, and the votes would be counted. The option with the most balls in its corresponding urn would be considered the winner.

Announcement: The results of the vote would then be announced to the parliament.

This system was designed to allow MPs to vote according to their conscience without fear of repercussions or pressure from outside influences, as their individual choices were kept confidential. It was used to ensure the integrity of the legislative process and promote freedom of expression within the parliament.


But couldn’t the legislator show to a lobbyist the remaining, pocketed ball and that would show the lobbyist that the legislator voted the opposite way? Could not the legislator then sell his vote?


Yes, in theory, there could have been opportunities for corruption or manipulation in the secret ballot system, as you’ve described. A legislator could potentially reveal their remaining ball to a lobbyist as a way to prove that they voted contrary to their public stance or party line, thus signaling their willingness to sell their vote.

This scenario highlights one of the challenges of any voting system, particularly those designed to protect anonymity and prevent coercion. While the secret ballot system is intended to safeguard against direct pressure or intimidation, it does not entirely eliminate the possibility of corruption or indirect influence.

In practice, measures would likely be taken to mitigate such risks, such as monitoring and oversight of the voting process, strict rules against revealing one’s vote or engaging in bribery, and legal consequences for any attempts to subvert the integrity of the legislative process. However, as with any system, there’s always a potential for abuse, and maintaining transparency and accountability is essential in upholding the principles of democracy and fair governance.


How did the Italian parliament mitigate this risk?


To mitigate the risk of corruption or manipulation in the voting process, the Italian Parliament likely implemented several measures:

Legal Framework: Italy likely had laws in place prohibiting bribery, corruption, and other forms of vote-buying or undue influence. Violations of these laws would carry legal consequences, including fines, imprisonment, or expulsion from parliament.

Ethical Standards: Members of parliament would likely be expected to adhere to codes of conduct or ethical standards that govern their behavior, including rules against accepting bribes or engaging in corrupt practices.

Oversight and Monitoring: The voting process may have been subject to oversight by parliamentary officials or independent observers to ensure its integrity. Monitoring could involve measures such as surveillance cameras, designated observers, or procedural safeguards to prevent tampering with the ballots or the voting process.

Transparency Measures: While the individual votes were secret, other aspects of the legislative process, such as debates, committee hearings, and the final outcome of the vote, would likely be transparent and open to public scrutiny. This transparency helps to hold legislators accountable for their actions and decisions.

Whistleblower Protections: Legislators or other individuals who witness or suspect corrupt behavior may have had avenues to report their concerns without fear of retaliation, such as whistleblower protection laws or internal mechanisms within the parliament for lodging complaints.

Independent Judiciary: Italy’s independent judiciary would play a crucial role in investigating and prosecuting cases of corruption or misconduct, ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable under the law.

These measures, combined with a commitment to upholding democratic principles and the rule of law, would help to mitigate the risk of corruption and maintain the integrity of the legislative process in the Italian Parliament.

[End of ChatGPT]

Commentary. I also tried Gemini Advanced AI, but its answer was almost 100% identical to ChatGPT.

Ending Commentary on Italy’s Use of Legislative Secret Voting

I will share this X article with as many Italian political scientists, etc., as I can. I hope to learn more about ‘Voto Segreto’ for its 119 years of use in Italy. Of particular interest is finding more examples of how the legislature was able to make a change that had the voting been ‘open/transparent’ as in the US Congress, that the legislation would not pass. I found one convincing example. In 1948, after WW2 ended, Italy worked on a new Constitution. Daniela Giannetti wrote (in both earlier citied documents) that “The issue at stake was an amendment submitted by a socialist deputy, aiming at abolishing the word “indissolubility” (of marriage) in Article 23 of the future Constitution. It should be noted that deleting the expression “indissolubility of marriage” from the draft constitution was interpreted by many observers as being anti-Catholic and indicating a pro-divorce stance.”

In a 194-191 vote, the Amendment passed and observers note that it only passed due to the voting being secret, as many feared the power of the Catholic Church (which in Italy has much persuasive power).  This example will be seen as some as an argument to keep voting open/transparent, and that might be the case sometimes. But substitute in Modern America, the FBI, CIA, NSA, CDC, FDA, NIAID, IRS or the DOD and consider the need to reduce their budgets by 25% in order to eliminate politicization, DIA, and ineffective efforts in order to get budget surpluses. We’ll be stuck with the status quo we have now, $1 trillion dollars more in debt every 100 days, if we stay with the current Congressional setup.

‘Voto Segreto’ was somehow ended in 1988 because the party leaders did not like the lack of party discipline with legislative voting (totally understandable!).  My question is “Why did the legislature go along with the party leaders’ wishes?”  I asked X’s Grok about this.


In Italy, ‘Voto Segreto’ ended in 1988 due to the party leaders not liking the lack of party alignment among legislators in the party. My question is why did the legislature agree to the change. Was there not the requirement to abolish it via one last secret vote?


The decision to abolish ‘Voto Segreto’ in Italy in 1988 was driven by the desire of party leaders to maintain greater control over their members in the legislature. The ‘Voto Segreto’ system allowed legislators to vote in secret, which meant they could vote against their party line without immediate repercussions. This was seen as a threat to party discipline and cohesion.

The reason why the legislature agreed to the change was likely due to a combination of factors. Firstly, the party leaders would have exerted significant pressure on their members to support the abolition of ‘Voto Segreto’. They would have argued that maintaining party discipline was crucial for effective governance and that secret voting undermined this principle. Secondly, the legislators themselves might have been persuaded by these arguments or might have been influenced by other benefits offered by their party leaders in exchange for their support.

Regarding the method of abolition, it’s not specified in the provided information whether a final secret vote was required to abolish ‘Voto Segreto’. However, given the nature of the change, it’s possible that the final vote was conducted openly to ensure compliance with the party line.

[End of Grok]

OpenAI’s ChatGPT’s answer was pretty much the same and am not repeating it here. But Microsoft’s CoPilot gave an interesting response, one in alignment with the English literature I have available (and cited earlier) on its use and demise. I asked it the same, identical question given to Grok above. CoPilot provided Daniela Giannetti as its source (links given earlier).


The ‘Voto Segreto’ or secret voting in the Italian Parliament was indeed a significant aspect of the legislative process in Italy. It originated in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Italy in 1848 and persisted throughout forty years of the history of the Italian Republic (1948-1988).

During the 1980s, there was a dramatic increase in the use of secret voting. This period saw a shift from a consensual pattern of decision-making to a more adversarial pattern in executive-legislative relations. The secret ballot became a tool used by intra-party factions within governing coalitions. These factions often voted with the opposition under the protection of the secret ballot to undermine current governments.

This situation led governing party leaders to implement a reform of secret voting in 19881. The exact parliamentary process that led to the reform of the secret ballot in 1988 is not detailed in the sources I found. However, it’s plausible that the change was driven by a combination of political dynamics, including the desire for greater party discipline and transparency in legislative decision-making.

As for your question about the requirement to abolish it via one last secret vote, I couldn’t find specific information on this. The process of changing parliamentary rules can be complex and varies depending on the specific rules and procedures of the parliament in question.

[End of CoPilot]

I tried Meta’s AI out and it gave a great answer, one I felt better than the others above. Again, I gave it the same question I gave Grok above.


You’re referring to the interesting case of the “Voto Segreto” (Secret Vote) in Italy!

Indeed, the Voto Segreto was abolished in 1988, and it’s true that party leaders played a significant role in this change. The legislature agreed to the change due to a combination of factors:

Party discipline: Party leaders wanted to regain control over their legislators and ensure they towed the party line. The secret vote had allowed legislators to vote their conscience or make deals across party lines, which undermined party discipline.

Political pressure: Party leaders applied pressure on legislators to abolish the secret vote, and many legislators succumbed to this pressure to avoid repercussions within their own parties.

Reform momentum: The late 1980s saw a broader push for political reform in Italy, and abolishing the secret vote was seen as a way to modernize the political system and increase transparency.

Regarding the requirement for a secret vote to abolish the Voto Segreto, you are correct that, in theory, a secret vote should have been held to abolish it. However, the legislature found a way around this by passing a law that effectively phased out the secret vote over time.

In 1988, the Italian Parliament passed Law No. 122, which gradually reduced the use of secret votes in parliamentary proceedings. The law stipulated that secret votes would only be used in exceptional cases, such as votes of no confidence or elections of the President of the Republic. Over time, the use of secret votes became increasingly rare, effectively ending the Voto Segreto era.

While this move might have been seen as a way to circumvent the traditional secret vote requirement, it’s important to note that the change was still approved by the legislature through a democratic process, albeit one influenced by party leaders’ pressure.


What is your bibliographic source for your answer?


My answer is based on my internal knowledge and information available on

Wikipedia. For more in-depth information and academic sources, you may want to visit JSTOR. Here are some additional resources:

“Italian Politics” on JSTOR

Pinelli, Cesare. “‘NON SAI CHE IL VOTO È SEGRETO?’. L’AFFERMAZIONE DI UN PRINCIPIO COSTITUZIONALE E DELLE SUE GARANZIE.” Il Politico 61, no. 1 (176) (1996): 27–75. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43101617.

[End of Meta]

The Improvement to Legislative Secret Voting Proposal of Mine

I improve upon the ‘Voto Segreto’ method in my existing short X article, “Imagine a Congress Protected from Corruption – How Would They Vote?”. Actually, when I first wrote it, I did not know about the Italian precedent. It amazed me to find out they did it almost identically to how I imagined it. It’s important to realize this depicted method of voting, which the Constitution allows, is only 1 part of a 5 part solution. The other 4 parts compensate for the disadvantages of having secret legislative voting.

Read my short X article to learn more about the 5 point pledge.  For the most fun, read my science fiction novel about what can happen, “The MAGARK Cleanup of Congress – How it was Done: Looking Back from 2028.” Looking Back from 2028 after MAGA & RFK Forces Cleaned up Congress. A future story where the MAGA and RFK Jr forces used the flexibility of the US Constitution and Game Theory to rid corrupt legislation, vastly improve life & reduce the national debt by a trillion dollars less a year.

To save reading time, I provide a very short description of the 5 points below.  Refer to the links above for more information. The Pledge Congressional Candidates Take to get Endorse in Primaries:

  1. If elected, Divest their Stock Investments to Market-neutral alternatives (because of #3)
  2. If elected, Pledge to release their annual Federal Tax filings (because of #3)
  3. Vote for legislative rules to guarantee 100% anonymity of their votes, with 3 exceptions.
  4. If point 3 is adopted, will vote to one-time only double legislators’ annual salary
  5. If point 3 is adopted, legislators will annually split one-ten-thousandth of the Budget surplus (if realized at the end of the fiscal year)

Had Italy adopted these extra 4 measures, I believe the Italian public and their legislators would have continued the use of ‘voto segreto’ in Italy past 1988.

Game theory says to let the legislators get rich by splitting a ten thousandth of the budget surplus. Don’t deny human nature, work with it. It’s called Jiu-Jitsu in Japan. Grok (X’s AI): “Jiu-Jitsu is widely recognized for its principle of using an opponent’s energy against them. This martial art emphasizes technique and leverage over brute strength, allowing practitioners to overcome larger and stronger opponents by exploiting their movements and energy. The concept is central to Jiu-Jitsu’s philosophy and is a key reason for its popularity.”

Let the greed of these legislators be rerouted to help America become great again! If they won’t take the 5 point pledge, then don’t endorse them in the Primary.  Better to have a randomly picked employed worker take their place if nobody volunteers to run against them in the Primary.  By doubling (just one time only) their salary, ordinary citizens can run for office too!   Vote them out 100% for sure if they don’t keep the pledge. That has to be a line in the sand for all voters.

I’ve shortened the Pitch to one sentence now.  Constituents need to demand Congress takes full advantage of the US Constitution’s clauses on how to legislate so corruption is game-theory ruled out and intelligent legislation is incentivized by sharing a fraction of budget surpluses.

Note, my proposal (it’s guts) does not require a new law, nor a new amendment.  Just a 50.1% approval by either the House or the Senate is sufficient to make real change.  The House of Representatives is the easier target as 100% of them have to get elected every 2 years.  The GOP Primary voters have total control over this.  This proposal only needs to be predominantly adopted by them!  Can you think of a simpler plan that promises actual success?

Please repost my longer Pitch or the novel.  Get as many of your followers educated on this as you can.  Follow me if not already doing so. The full course though is in my X article, which I hope as many of your readers, including yourself, read (follow me if not already) and provide feedback to improve and get more traction. Hopefully by the time the next Primary season comes around, it will be mandatory for any congressional candidate to make the 5 point pledge.

Last, check out my other X articles!


One of the problems with AI Engine assistance, is that sometimes the bibliographic citation is in error and the item does not exist. Another problem is that sometimes you have to get behind an Academic Affiliation firewall to find issues of a journal and what is in the journal. For instance, the William G Brice citation, I can’t even get a listing of what is in that volume/issue of the Journal of Modern History. That might be a bogus entry. I have interlibrary loan helping me, but it may take weeks. I will update the below list as I find out more. I have not read much of the below, Interlibrary loan takes time. What I read is linked to earlier above.


Brice, William G. “The Secret Ballot and Its Origins in Italy, 1848-1922.” Journal of Modern History, vol. 26, no. 2, 1954, pp. 131-139.

Ginsborg, Paul. “The Political System in Italy, 1870–1922.” The Fontana History of Modern Italy: The Challenge of Modernity, Fontana Press, 1990, pp. 145-180. (English)

Clark, Martin. “Voting in the Italian Parliament, 1861–1913.” Parliamentary History, vol. 27, no. 1, 2008, pp. 41-60. (English)

Petrizzo, Alessio. “Legitimation contested. The rise of Italian parliaments in 1848”. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/297768412_Legitimation_contested_The_rise_of_Italian_parliaments_in_1848. DOI: 10.1080/13569317.2021.1914841.

Elster, Jon (Editor). Secrecy and Publicity in Votes and Debates, Cambridge University Press, June 2015. 268 pages. ISBN-10: 1107083362. https://a.co/d/cf5OJbQ


Pinelli, Cesare. “‘NON SAI CHE IL VOTO È SEGRETO?’. L’AFFERMAZIONE DI UN PRINCIPIO COSTITUZIONALE E DELLE SUE GARANZIE.” Il Politico 61, no. 1 (176) (1996): 27–75. http://jstor.org/stable/43101617. – this link only gets one to a paywall portal page showing one page of the document. Is the library able to get the whole document?

Roberto D’Alimonte, ‘Il sistema elettorale italiano: un’analisi comparata delle leggi elettorali’ (The Italian Electoral System: A Comparative Analysis of Electoral Laws), in ‘Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica’, Vol. 23, No. 3 (1993), pp. 443-472.

Giovanni Sartori, ‘Democrazia: cosa è’ (Democracy: What It Is), Rizzoli, 1993.

Sabino Cassese, ‘La costruzione dello Stato italiano’ (The Construction of the Italian State), Rizzoli, 1998.

Luciano Canfora, ‘La democrazia: storia di un’ideologia’ (Democracy: The History of an Ideology), Laterza, 2006.

Pombeni, Paolo. “Il Voto Segreto in Parlamento e la Questione Romana nel 1870.” Rivista di storia contemporanea, vol. 15, no. 2, 1982, pp. 171-198. (Italian)

Farini, Luigi Carlo. “Il voto segreto in Parlamento.” Storia contemporanea, vol. 13, no. 2, 1982, pp. 171-198. (Italian)

Bonelli, Luciano. “La Camera dei deputati tra pubblico e privato. Il voto segreto nel Regno d’Italia (1861–1913).” Ricerche di storia politica, no. 2, 2004, pp. 257-284. (Italian)

Rialti, Riccardo. “Il voto segreto in Parlamento nel periodo post-unitario: Il caso del 1874.” Nuova Rivista Storica, vol. 83, no. 3, 1999, pp. 539-564. (Italian)

Luzzatto, Sergio. “Il voto segreto e la rappresentanza nel parlamentarismo italiano.” Rivista di storia economica, vol. 3, no. 3, 1986, pp. 291-312. (Italian)

Donati, Pierangelo. “La riforma del voto segreto negli anni della crisi giolittiana.” Studi storici, vol. 26, no. 3, 1985, pp. 615-643. (Italian)

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Roleigh Martin
CLEAN CONGRESS! Constitution allows legislative voting where one votes their conscience w/min corruption. I use game theory. See pinned X & view more.
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