Today, debates about the best method to vote hinge on the advantages and risks of adopting an electronic voting system. Similar issues about voting machinery have persisted throughout voting history. For instance, in the nineteenth century reformers campaigned for the gear and lever voting machine to provide a uniform method of voting. By the 1920s, many cities and states decided to purchase these now-iconic machines as a way to accommodate a growing electorate and increasingly lengthy ballots. This website from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History exhibits a variety of material related to the gear and lever machine. Included here are a 1913 photograph of Chicago women voting in a city election via the gear and lever machine; a 1940 sample ballot by the Republican Party which utilizes pictures of levers next to Republican candidates; and a 1960s handbill urging voters to "pull the first lever for Jack Kennedy and his team."
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