Frequently Asked Questions - historical examples

historical examples

Sortitional selection was a central and defining feature of the first Athenian democracy. It was used to select both legislative and administrative functions. There were also a small number of meritocratic elective offices, particularly for the military and the treasury.

Sortitional selection was also used in Florence and Venice in the late medieval period. The system was instituted in order to break the power of political factions. Sortition was also used during the French Revolution.

Sortition is also used by the Amish to choose their bishops.

Jury selection in U.S. courts is initially through sortition.

Sortition has been widely used in military drafts; in choosing recipients of organ transplants; in allotting places for children in magnet or charter schools; in dispensing tickets to entertainment or sporting events.

A long list of examples can be found in Wikipedia's entry: