Via @pbsengage on Twitter, I was reminded today of how difficult it used to be to vote in America.
I’ve actually found myself wondering if my vote was counted the first time I used one of these machines (in the ’70s). After flipping all the buttons, you pulled a lever that would register your vote and open the curtain. I didn’t know that. So I flipped all the appropriate levers down, assuming that registered my vote, flipped it back up, and left.
According to a site that documents the history of voting machines, these were first used in the late 1890s, were known as the Meyers Automatic Booth and were last used by 27% of voters in the 1996 presidential election.
Bob Collins has been with Minnesota Public Radio since 1992, emigrating to Minnesota from Massachusetts. He was senior editor of news in the ’90s, ran MPR’s political unit, created the MPR News regional website, invented the popular Select A Candidate, started the two most popular blogs in the history of MPR and every day laments that his Minnesota Fantasy Legislature project never caught on.
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