The Tasche

The Tasche were the elections of the Elders and the Gonfaloniere, the highest authorities of the Republic. Due to the short period of the proxies, it was decided to focus the election of the collegies, needed to fulfill the set two-month period, in a single round of voting. The Tasche were hold every two or three years. The electoral unit was made of 64 people: the Elders who were still in charge, the Council “dei Trentasei” and 18 citizens of Lucca, nominated by the Elders themselves. Men younger than 22, apostates, illegitimate sons, doctors in medical science and laws and those who suffered a bankruptcy weren't eligible. The voting system was a bit complex, but it allowed to assemble the collegies, composed of a Gonfaloniere and nine Elders, whose names, transcribed on pieces of scrolls, were inserted in silver balls and guarded in a case (the Tasca) stored in the Trapea. Then, the college that had to take charge, was drawn from it every two months. In the 18th century the voting occurred for three consecutive days and it was preceded by a solemn public ceremony, in wich an historical-political song was played. In the Council lougne, conveniently adorned with drapes, furniture and pictures with the Republic emblems, the highest authorities entered with the Palazzo's family. The song's librettos were shared while the choir sang a symphony. Then the first part of the song was played, followed by a young man's political speech, to finish with the second part of the song. When the audience was gone, the electors went to their rooms, where the long voting procedures started.