While who can vote has changed since the first Presidential election in 1789, the methods of casting your vote and counting the ballots have changed too. For many years, votes were hand completed and counted. Mechanical voting was first used around 1892. A voting apparatus, or machine, registers and tabulates votes. The mechanical-lever machine was used in 1920 and for many years after. The punched card systems were first used in 1965. One was called the Votomatic. The punched card sometimes left a chad (the paper punched out) hanging: "the hanging chad". Many said this may have affected the outcome of the close 2000 Presidential election. Voting methods are important!
In 2002, the HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT provided dollars for upgrading voting equipment and methods across the country. Today, touch screen computers are used to create completed paper ballots that are then scanned as the vote is counted with a click.
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