Etymology
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ballot (n.)

1540s, "small ball used in voting," also "secret vote taken by ballots," from Italian pallotte, diminutive of palla "ball," for small balls used as counters in secret voting, from a Germanic source, from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell." Earliest references are to Venice. By 1776 extended to tickets or sheets of paper used in secret voting. Ballot box attested from 1670s; metonymically from 1834 as "system or practice of voting by ballot."

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ballot (v.)
1540s, "to vote by secret method" (such as ballot balls), from ballot (n.). Related: Balloted; balloting.
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bulletin (n.)

1765, "authenticated official report concerning some event, issued for the information of the public," from French bulletin (16c.), modeled on Italian bulletino, diminutive of bulletta "document, voting slip," itself a diminutive of Latin bulla "round object" (see bull (n.2)) with equivalent of Old French -elet (see -let). For use of balls in voting, see ballot (n.).

The word was used earlier in English in the Italian form (mid-17c.). Popularized by their use in the Napoleonic Wars as the name for dispatches sent from the front and meant for the home public (which led to the proverbial expression as false as a bulletin). Broadcast news sense of "any brief, notice or public announcement of news" is from 1925. Bulletin board "public board on which news and notices are posted" is from 1831; computer sense is from 1979.

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*bhel- (2)
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to blow, swell," "with derivatives referring to various round objects and to the notion of tumescent masculinity" [Watkins].

It forms all or part of: bale (n.) "large bundle or package of merchandise prepared for transportation;" baleen; ball (n.1) "round object, compact spherical body;" balloon; ballot; bawd; bold; bole; boll; bollocks; bollix; boulder; boulevard; bowl (n.) "round pot or cup;" bulk; bull (n.1) "bovine male animal;" bullock; bulwark; follicle; folly; fool; foosball; full (v.) "to tread or beat cloth to cleanse or thicken it;" ithyphallic; pall-mall; phallus.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek phyllon "leaf," phallos "swollen penis;" Latin flos "flower," florere "to blossom, flourish," folium "leaf;" Old Prussian balsinis "cushion;" Old Norse belgr "bag, bellows;" Old English bolla "pot, cup, bowl;" Old Irish bolgaim "I swell," blath "blossom, flower," bolach "pimple," bolg "bag;" Breton bolc'h "flax pod;" Serbian buljiti "to stare, be bug-eyed;" Serbo-Croatian blazina "pillow."

An extended form of the root, *bhelgh- "to swell," forms all or part of: bellows; belly; bilge; billow; bolster; budget; bulge; Excalibur; Firbolgs.

An extended form of the root, *bhleu- "to swell, well up, overflow," forms all or part of: affluent; bloat; confluence; effluent; effluvium; efflux; fluctuate; fluent; fluid; flume; fluor; fluorescence; fluoride; fluoro-; flush (v.1) "spurt, rush out suddenly, flow with force;" fluvial; flux; influence; influenza; influx; mellifluous; phloem; reflux; superfluous.
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suffrage (n.)

late 14c., "intercessory prayers or pleas on behalf of another," from Old French sofrage "plea, intercession" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin suffragium, from Latin suffragium "support, ballot, vote; right of voting; a voting tablet," from suffragari "lend support, vote for someone," conjectured to be a compound of sub "under" (see sub-) + fragor "crash, din, shouts (as of approval)," related to frangere "to break" (from PIE root *bhreg- "to break"). On another theory (Watkins, etc.) the second element is frangere itself and the notion is "use a broken piece of tile as a ballot" (compare ostracism).

The meaning "a vote for or against anything" is from 1530s. The meaning "political right to vote" in English is first found in the U.S. Constitution, 1787.

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urn (n.)
late 14c., "large, rounded vase used to preserve the ashes of the dead," from Latin urna "a jar, vessel of baked clay, water-jar; vessel for the ashes of the dead" (also used as a ballot box and for drawing lots), probably from earlier *urc-na, akin to urceus "pitcher, jug," and from the same source as Greek hyrke "earthen vessel." But another theory connects it to Latin urere "to burn" (compare bust (n.1)).
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psephocracy (n.)

"government formed by election by ballot," by 1966, from Greek psēphizein "to vote" (properly "to vote with pebbles"), from psēphos "pebble, small stone," especially as used for counting and calculating (a word of uncertain origin, perhaps related to psammos "sand"), + -cracy "rule or government by."

The common method of voting in Greek cities was by dropping pebbles in different marked urns, and thus the word for "pebble" figures largely in the ancient Greek vocabulary of democracy (e.g. isopsēphos "having an equal vote"). Also a psēphados was "a juggler." Related: Psephocrat; psephocratic.

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scrutiny (n.)

early 15c., "the formal enumerating of the votes in an election to an office or dignity" (according to OED, "Now chiefly in Canon Law"), from Late Latin scrutinium "a search, inquiry" (in Medieval Latin, "a mode of election by ballot"), from Latin scrutari "to examine, investigate, search" (from PIE root *skreu- "to cut; cutting tool;" see shred (n.)). The meaning "close investigation or examination" is recorded from c. 1600.

Perhaps the original notion of the Latin word is "to search among rubbish," via scruta (plural) "trash, rags, rubbish" ("shreds"); or the original sense might be "to cut into, scratch."

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stuff (v.)
mid-14c., "furnish with" (goods, provisions, etc.), also "reinforce" (troops), from Old French estofer "pad, upholster, fit out" (Modern French étoffer), from estoffe, and probably also in part from stuff (n.).

From c. 1400 as "fill, cram full; fill (the belly) with food or drink, gorge;" from early 15c. as "to clog" (the sinuses, etc.); from late 14c. as "fill (a mattress, etc.) with padding, line with padding;" also in the cookery sense, in reference to filing the interior of a pastry or the cavity of a fowl or beast. The ballot-box sense is attested from 1854, American English; in expressions of contempt and suggestive of bodily orifices, it dates from 1952.
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club (n.)

c. 1200, "thick stick wielded in the hand and used as a weapon," from Old Norse klubba "cudgel" or a similar Scandinavian source (compare Swedish klubba, Danish klubbe), assimilated from Proto-Germanic *klumbon and related to clump (n.). Old English words for this were sagol, cycgel. Specific sense of "bat or staff used in games" is from mid-15c.

The club suit in the deck of cards (1560s) bears the correct name (Spanish basto, Italian bastone), but the pattern adopted on English decks is the French trefoil. Compare Danish klr, Dutch klaver "a club at cards," literally "a clover."

The sense "company of persons organized to meet for social intercourse or to promote some common object" (1660s) apparently evolved from this word from the verbal sense "gather in a club-like mass" (1620s), then, as a noun, "association of people" (1640s).

We now use the word clubbe for a sodality in a tavern. [John Aubrey, 1659]
Admission to membership of clubs is commonly by ballot. Clubs are now an important feature of social life in all large cities, many of them occupying large buildings containing reading-rooms, libraries, restaurants, etc. [Century Dictionary, 1902]
I got a good mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it. [Rufus T. Firefly] 

Join the club "become one of a number of people having a common experience" is by 1944. Club soda is by 1881, originally a proprietary name (Cantrell & Cochrane, Dublin). Club car is from 1890, American English, originally one well-appointed and reserved for members of a club run by the railway company; later of any railway car fitted with chairs instead of benches and other amenities (1917). Hence club for "class of fares between first-class and transit" (1978).

The club car is one of the most elaborate developments of the entire Commuter idea. It is a comfortable coach, which is rented to a group of responsible men coming either from a single point or a chain of contiguous points. The railroad charges from $250 to $300 a month for the use of this car in addition to the commutation fares, and the "club" arranges dues to cover this cost and the cost of such attendants and supplies as it may elect to place on its roving house. [Edward Hungerford, "The Modern Railroad," 1911]

Club sandwich recorded by 1899 (said to have been invented at Saratoga Country Club in New York), apparently as a type of sandwich served in clubs, or else because its multiple "decks" reminded people of two-decker club cars on railroads.  

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