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CHEIROTON´IA (χειροτονία). In the Athenian assemblies two modes of voting were practised, the one by ballot [PSEPHUS], the other by a show of hands (χειροτονεῖν). The latter was the usual mode of conducting business. Secret voting in general was only used when the personal interests of individuals were concerned; as when the question was the condemnation or acquittal of a person put on his trial, the remission of a punishment (especially of ATIMIA), or of a pecuniary fine payable to the state, the conferring of citizenship on strangers, or finally the banishment of a citizen by ostracism. Open voting was employed on questions of public policy, such as war or peace, in voting upon laws, and in some special kinds of trials on matters which concerned the people, as upon προβολαὶ and εἰσαγγελία. In the elections of magistrates (ἀρχαιρεσίαι), some were chosen by lot (ἀρχὴ κληρωτή); others, and these of course the more important, e. g. the στρατηγοί, by show of hands (ἀρχὴ αἱρετὴ or χειροτονητή.). The grammarians attempt a distinction between αἱρετὴ and χειροτονητή, which however is rejected by modern scholars (Arg. ii. ad Dem. Androt. p. 588). But the undoubted distinction between ψηφίζεσθαι and χειροτονεῖν is not always observed: we find the word ψηφίζεσθαι used where the voting was really by show of hands (Lys. c. Eratosth. § § 44, 75; Dem. Olynth. 1.2).

The χειροτονία was taken first on the affirmative, then on the negative side of the question at issue: the number of hands was counted each time by the herald; and the president, upon the herald's report, declared whether the ayes or noes had the majority (ἀναγορεύειν τὰς χειροτονίας, Aeschin. c. Ctes. § 3).

It is important to understand clearly the compounds of this word. A vote condemning an accused person is καταχειροτονία: one acquitting him, ἀποχειροτονία (Dem. c. Mid. p. 516.6; p. 553.120; p. 583.214): ἐπιχειροτονεῖν is to confirm by a majority of votes (Leges ap. Dem. de Cor. pp. 235.9, 261.105): ἐπιχειροτονία τῶν νόμων was a revision of the laws, which took place at the beginning of the Attic year in the month of Hecatombaeon: ἐπιχειροτονία τῶν ἀρχῶν was a vote taken in the first assembly of each prytany on the conduct of the magistrates: in these cases, those who voted for the confirmation of the law, or the continuance in office of the magistrate, were said ἐπιχειροτονεῖν, those on the other side ἀροχειροτονεῖν (Dem. c. Timocr. p. 706.20; c. Theocrin. p. 1330.27; Harpocrat. and Suidas, s. v. Κυρία ἐκκλησία): διαχειροτονία is a vote [p. 1.410]for one of two alternatives (Dem. c. Androt. p. 596.9; c. Timocr. p. 707.25; c. Neaer. p. 1346, § § 4, 5): ἀντιχειροτονεῖν to vote against a proposition: προχειροτονία is the show of hands on the previous question, i. e. whether the people desired further discussion or not (Dem. c. Timocr. p. 703.11). The compounds of ψηφίζεσθαι have similar meanings (Schömann, Assemblies, pp. 120, 125, 231, 251, 330; Antiq. i. p. 335, E. T.). P. S.]


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