Psephology is from the Greek word psēphos, meaning "pebble." (One relative ofpsephology is psephomancy, meaning "divination by pebbles.") Psephology merited election as the name for the work of analysts of elections, or psephologists, because pebbles were used by the ancient Greeks in voting. Similarly, the word ballot was an excellent choice for a means of voting since it is derived from balla, the Italian word for "ball," and Italians placed balls in a container to cast votes.
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