History of Voting Machine Technology
With today being election day, how the votes are collected and counted is as important as the vote itself. We all want the most efficient, reliable and stable process possible which will hopefully produce the most accurate results. In order to achieve that, innovations in the equipment used to vote is very important. From the paper ballots to the electronic voting machines, we have come a long way in America when choosing our political leaders
Originally called the Australian Secret Ballot, Massachusetts became the first state to use the paper ballot in statewide elections in 1889. Approximately 1% of registered voters still use the paper ballot.
Mechanical Lever Machine
The Mechanical Lever Machine introduced the punch card process. It was first used in 1892 in Lockport, NY and gained nationwide popularity between 1930-1960. In 2008 6.7% of registered voters were still using this type of method.
The punch card system requires a voter to punch a hole next to the corresponding candidate of their choosing. It was first introduced in 1965. This process was at the center of the 2000 Presidential election controversy when many of the ballots created a voting discrepancy with “hanging chads”.
Marksense Optical Scan
Better known as the Catscan sheet, the Optical Scan was originally used in the standardize test arena. It made its political debut in 1962 in Kern City, California.
Direct Recording Electronic (DRE)
The latest voting technology is the Direct Recording Electronic or the DRE. The DRE is an electronic, touch-screen voting device. It was first used in the State of Illinois in 1975. By 2000 only about 12% was being used. That was before the Florida election controversy.
What voting technology is currently used in your precinct?
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