Voting machines

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.

  • Nathan

    Wow that voting machine was fascinating. Way to go, Mr Rogers!

  • Mike

    I’ve never voted by any method other than paper and optical scanner (connect the arrow by filling in the line…). I bet stepping into a booth and flicking levers would make the process see more real and substantial. I know I would feel a bit more important!

    I have to ask though – was there a paper trail? Where/how was the vote recorded? Mr. Rogers really didn’t tell us that part, but I could imagine the same problems there where each vote couldn’t be documented. Maybe I’m missing something…or maybe it was touchscreen voting version 1.0?