psephology /see-FAH-lə-jee/. noun. The scientific study of elections, voting behavior and statistical trends in voting. Rarely, used to refer to Greek numerology. From Greek psēphos (pebble), from the pebbles used by the Ancient Greeks in voting. A side-note: ballot derives from the Italian balla (ball), based on a similar method of voting by placing balls in a container.
“Frank Hardie, a classical scholar and later President of Corpus, said ‘Why not call it psephology? The Athenians dropped a psephos, a pebble, into an urn when they voted.’” (David Edgeworth Butler)
“By the lights of the psephology manuals, Ohio ought to have been a natural for the Democrats…” (Simon Schama, 2004)
“What I want to point out here is that there is a considerable breadth of numerological practices, ranging from psephology/gematria through to practices close to mathematical physics…” (Andrew Gregory)