Voting Machine for Young Citizens (Oct, 1952)

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Voting Machine for Young Citizens

YOU can teach your children to be good citizens with this voting machine scaled down to neighborhood size. Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions clubs, youth organizations or junior groups can run a mock election to prepare for adult citizenship—and the clubs can use the machine for real elections of their own officers and leaders. The youngster drops a blank ballot in the slot at the top of the machine, pushes the knob under a candidate’s name and pulls the lever that drops the ballot into the base of the machine. Of course this is just part of the fun —before “election day” parades, and “stump” speeches just like the real thing whip up voter interest for playground politicos.

The inside working mechanism is a good place to start. Lay out the holes for the push-rods on the backside of the Masonite and drill both pieces with smooth sides together for clean holes and perfect register. Position the inside ballot slides in relation to the front plywood panel and drill through to line up the front holes or the push-rods. Assemble the ballot slot to the front, back and side panels using several in. dowels through the holes to keep them in alignment.

No. of Pieces   Size and Material Use
2 3/8 x 24 x 25" plywood Front and back
2 3/4 x 6-1/4 x 25" pine Ends
2 3/4 x 6-1/4 x 24" pine Top and bottom
1 3/4 x 16 x 24" pine Base
2 1/4 x 12-1/2 x 12-3/8" Masonite tempered   Ballot slot
2 1-1/4 x 1-1/4 x 12" pine Ballot trough
1 3/4 x 2 x 20-1/2" pine Drop bar
18 3/16 x 5" steel or birch dowels Push rods
18 drawer pulls, washers, coil springs
1 1/8 x 3/4 x 72" strap iron Curtain rod

Material for curtains, and rings.

1 – coil spring for hand lever.
2 – doz. 1-1/2″ No. 8 flat head wood screws.
2 – spikes, paint and glue, 2 butt-type hinges.
1 – key padlock and hasp set.

The drop bar should be a close fit against the bottom of the ballot slot and turn easily when the lever is pulled.

Make up to 18 push-rods as shown in drawings tapering the ends slightly to ease them into the punch holes of the ballot slot. The coil springs need not be very strong so long as they return the push-rod to its out position. Insert the rods through the front and the spring, cotter pin and washer. Make sure the ends do not stick out into the ballot slot.

Fasten on the drawer pull with a small brad through the rod dipped in quick-drying household cement. With the parts working smoothly screw on the top piece and the built-up slot to guide the ballots.

“Young fry” elections can be run off by inserting a blank piece of 8-1/2 x 11 in. mimeograph or stiff typewriter paper. If you have a duplicating machine, the ballots can be printed as shown to match the candidate’s name pasted over each knob and the party name alongside each row. The name of the office is at the top of each column. A strap-iron curtain rod around the front insures privacy. So line up your party members for a backyard election. —Hi Sibley.

  1. Hirudinea says: September 18, 20125:19 pm

    I never understood voting machines, paper ballots have worked forever and still do.

  2. JMyint says: September 19, 20126:51 am

    Quicker and more accurate tabulation of results. Or at least that is the hope. Nearly all major elections in the US today depend on some sort of machine count but back in the 50s, before micro processors and optical scanners, mechanical counters seemed the best option.

  3. Hirudinea says: September 19, 20121:24 pm

    @ JMyint – Yea, that really worked well in 2000 in Florida. 🙂 I can appreciate that machines seem to be a way to get quicker, cheaper results than people, but hey its an election, its not an everyday occurrence so spend some money on people and do it right, hey democracy is worth it.

  4. Toronto says: September 19, 20122:53 pm

    In the US, machine counting leads to “hanging chad” and that sort of thing. In Canada, we have “That X isn’t centered in the circle” arguments (or at least we do in Quebec.)

    But really, in Canada we typically vote for one thing at a time, not the dozens of things I’ve seen on US ballots. (We don’t directly elect our Prime Minister, for example, or have elected judges, district attorneys, or dog catchers, nor do we directly vote on medical marijuana, tax reforms, same-sex marriage, etc etc etc.)

  5. JMyint says: September 20, 20128:02 am

    The US is a combination of direct and representative democracy. So not only do we vote for legislative positions, we as vote for matters of laws and budget. Yes I have voted in elections that it takes 20 minutes just to read through the ballot.

  6. Casandro says: September 25, 20129:42 pm

    Well as a German I cannot understand how one can tolerate voting machines, no matter what type. It’s impossible for the layperson to check them, while secrecy is maintained. Fraud is so hard to detect, nobody needs to worry about getting caught.

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