General ticket

General ticket representation is a type of block voting in which voters opt for a party, or a team's set list of candidates, and the highest-polling one becomes the winner. It, unless tempered to apply to a specific proportion, arrives at a 100% return for one party's list who become representatives for the membership or representative positions which are the purpose of the election.

At (top-tier) national level it was used for as many as seven of the states, for any given regularly convened US Congress, in the US House of Representatives before 1967 but mainly before 1847; and in France, in the pre-World War I decades of the Third Republic which began in 1870. It is in use in the Parliament of Singapore as to its dominant type of constituencies, those being multi-member, however moderated by the inclusion of at least one person of a different race than the others in any "team" (which is not necessarily a party team) which is selected by voters.

As to the regional councils within countries it is used in France and Italy for a third and fifth of their councillors respectively, generally who then serve the region at-large.

In modern proportional systems, a full or partial return by the party-list system is common. The partial return is referred to as a return of additional members, who may serve regionally or cross-country at-large. Such modern systems award winners among more than the highest-polling party, if a low vote threshold is reached by a minority party, and often are counterweighted to do justice to the overall votes cast for smaller parties. This tempers a simple preference system as to smaller electoral districts used for the same chamber, body or assembly.



The scrutin de liste (Fr. scrutin, voting by ballot, and liste, a list) was, before World War I, a system of election of national representatives in France by which the electors of a department voted for a party-homogenous slate of deputies to be elected to serve it nationally. It was distinguished from the scrutin d'arrondissement, also called scrutin uninominal, under which the electors in each arrondissement returned one deputy.[1] It has been abolished since, as to the French Parliament.

It is used on two-round basis to elect 13 of the regional councillors, and favours the largest party of that council's election.


In Italy, this system applies to 15 of the regional councillors since 1995. As in the French version, its goal is to ensure that the assembly is controlled by the leading coalition of parties. There is one round of voting.


In Singapore, the general ticket system, locally known as the party block vote, elects by far most members of the Parliament of Singapore from multi-member districts known as group representation constituencies (GRCs), on a plurality basis. This operates in parallel to elections from single-member district and nominations. It is moderated by the inclusion of at least one person of a different race than the others in any "team" (which is not necessarily a party team) which is selected by voters.

United States

For an at-large one-party return, many states adopted a general ticket. The state voted for and returned an at-large delegation to the House of Representatives. As in the Electoral College for Presidential elections this negates (outside of campaigning) the existence of any votes for any non-overall winning party's candidates. In terms of paper practices, these varied between issue of:

  • a single ballot, listing all candidates and party affiliations (by means of bloc voting)
  • separate ballots for each seat

This was quite common until reserved to special use by the 1842 Apportionment Bill and locally implementing legislation which took effect after the 184547 Congress. [2] Until the Congress ending in 1967 it took effect in rare instances, save for a two cases of ex-Confederate States for one term these had tiny delegations, were for top-up members to be at-large allocated pending redistricting, or were added to the union since the last census.

The following is a table of every instance of the use of the general ticket in the United States Congress.

Congress Dates State and
number of representatives
1st1789–1791Connecticut (5), New Jersey (4), New Hampshire (3), Pennsylvania (8)
2nd1791–1793Connecticut (5), New Jersey (4), New Hampshire (3)
3rd1793–1795Connecticut (7), Georgia (2), New Jersey (5), New Hampshire (4), Pennsylvania (13), Rhode Island (2)
4th and 5th1795–1799Connecticut (7), Georgia (2), New Jersey (5), New Hampshire (4), Rhode Island (2)
6th1799–1801Connecticut (7), Georgia (2), New Hampshire (4), Rhode Island (2)
7th1801–1803Connecticut (7), Georgia (2), New Jersey (5), New Hampshire (4), Rhode Island (2)
8th1803–1805Connecticut (7), Georgia (4), New Jersey (6), New Hampshire (5), Rhode Island (2), Tennessee (3)
9th to 12th1805–1813Connecticut (7), Georgia (4), New Jersey (6), New Jersey (5), Rhode Island (2)
13th1813–1815Connecticut (7), Delaware (2), Georgia (6), New Hampshire (6), Rhode Island (2), Vermont (6)
14th to 16th1815–1821Connecticut (7), Delaware (2), Georgia (6), New Jersey (6), New Hampshire (6), Rhode Island (2), Vermont (6)
17th1821–1823Connecticut (7), Delaware (2), Georgia (6), New Jersey (6), New Hampshire (6), Rhode Island (2)
18th1823–1825Connecticut (6), Georgia (7), New Jersey (6), New Hampshire (6), Rhode Island (2), Vermont (5)
19th1825–1827Connecticut (6), Georgia (7), New Jersey (6), New Hampshire (6), Rhode Island (2)
20th1827–1829Connecticut (6), New Jersey (6), New Hampshire (6), Rhode Island (2)
21st and 22nd1829–1833Connecticut (6), Georgia (7), New Jersey (6), New Hampshire (6), Rhode Island (2)
23rd and 24th1833–1837Connecticut (6), Georgia (9), Missouri (2), Mississippi (2), New Jersey (6), New Hampshire (5), Rhode Island (2)
25th and 26th1837–1841New Hampshire (5), Georgia (9), Missouri (2), Mississippi (2), New Jersey (6), Rhode Island (2)
27th1841–1843Alabama (5), Georgia (9), Missouri (2), Mississippi (2), New Hampshire (5), New Jersey (6), Rhode Island (2)
28th1843–1845New Hampshire (4), Georgia (8), Missouri (5), Mississippi (4)
29th1845–1847Iowa (2), New Hampshire (4), Missouri (5), Mississippi (4)
30th1847–1849Wisconsin (2)
31st to 34th1849–1857California (2)
35th to 37th1857–1863California (2), Minnesota (2)
38th to 42nd1863–1873California (3)
43rd to 47th1873–1883Florida (2), Kansas (3)
48th1883–1885Maine (4)
51st and 52nd1889–1893South Dakota (2)
53rd to 57th1893–1903South Dakota (2), Washington (2)
58th to 60th1903–1909North Dakota (2), South Dakota (2), Washington (3)
61st1909–1911North Dakota (2), South Dakota (2)
62nd1911–1913North Dakota (2), New Mexico (2), South Dakota (2)
63rd1913–1915Idaho (2), Montana (2), Utah (2)
64th1915–1917Idaho (2), Montana (2)
65th to 72nd1917–1933Idaho (2), Montana (2)
73rd1933–1935Kentucky (9), Minnesota (9), Missouri (13), North Dakota (2), Virginia (9)
74th to 77th1935–1943North Dakota (2)
78th to 80th1943–1949Arizona (2), New Mexico (2), North Dakota (2)
81st to 87th1949–1963New Mexico (2), North Dakota (2)
88th1963–1965Alabama (8), Hawaii (2), New Mexico (2)
89th and 90th1965–1969Hawaii (2), New Mexico (2)
91st1969–1971Hawaii (2)

See also


  1.  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Scrutin de Liste". Encyclopædia Britannica. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 487.
  2. Public Law 90-196, 2 U.S.C. § 2c)


  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.