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Publication numberUS1275579 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 13, 1918
Filing dateMar 8, 1918
Priority dateMar 8, 1918
Publication numberUS 1275579 A, US 1275579A, US-A-1275579, US1275579 A, US1275579A
InventorsEdward J Mcgowan
Original AssigneeEdward J Mcgowan
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 1275579 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




1,275,579. Patented Aug. 13, 1918.


; EDWARD J. MCGOWAN, oFivnw'YoRx, N. Y.


BALLOT-30x Specification of Letterslatent. Patented. Aug. 13, 1918.

Application filed March 8, 1918 Serial No. 221,132.

To all whom it may concern:

- Be it known that I, EDWARD J. MOGOWAN, a citizen of the United States, residing in the borough of Manhattan, city, county, and State of "New York, have invented certain new anduseful' Improvements in Ballot- Boxes, of which the following is a specification. 3 I i My invention relates to improvements in ballot boxes and particularly to the type of box having a cover with a slottherein adapted to permit the deposit of ballots therethrough.

My invention has for its object the provision'of means within the box itself whereby the slotted aperture may be closed, after the ballots have been cast,-bya metallic plate, and such plate may then be locked in its closed position by the same locking means by which the closed cover is locked to the box.

t It has for its further object the provision of means, within the box, for locking the slot-closing plate in its open position while the box is in use for receiving the deposit of ballots andjexterior' locking means independent of the interlor means for locking the cover in its closed position.

Further objects of my invention are to afford simple and convenient means for se curing and protecting the contents 'of the box after the polls are closed, the ballots counted and the tally sheets certified and deposited in the box with the] redeposited ballots by the tallyclerk or other official of the board of election inspectors, or such officials as have charge of the count in the firstinstance at the polling place, whose duty it is to seal the box and deliver it to its custodian pending a recount, if any; also the provision of a box having noexterior parts which would interfere with its'being' stacked and'preferably of rectangular shape, the cover or lid being flat to admit of stack- In the preferred form of my invenfurther objects are to provide such a self-contained structure and in which the slot must be closed in order to lock the cover and wherein the slot can not be opened until the cover is opened, and wherein, fur

ther, closing the cover automatically locks both the slot and-the cover.

Heretofore it has been customary to seal the" slot by means external to the box, and to lock the box by an exterior lock, customarily a padlock. It has been found that devices used for these purposes are readily tampered with, and by reason of their exposed character, such devices invite examination by the curious, and the boxes so protected are frequently damaged'as to their seals, not only maliciously but also unii1 tentiona'lly, so that their conditionis rendered such as to afford no guaranty as'to the inviolability of their contents.

' By my improvements these difficulties are overcome and the greatest security for the ballots as returned is obtained, my ballot box being both fool and knave-proof to such a degree that any tampering, therewith is'a matter at once-capable of detection, since thesecurity of the box-when sealed and locked can only be violated by use of means adapted to'break'it open.

The above recited objects and advantages,

. with others hereinafter set forth, are attained by my invention, whose preferred structural embodiment is illustrated in the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification. i

In these drawings, Figure 1 illustrates a perspective view of a standard form of ballot box, such as'is used in the State'of New York, having a ballot-receiving slot and exterior fastening means comprising a hasp and staple adapted'to receive a pad-' lock; 2 shows the sealing and locking mechanism on the interior of the raisedlid,

the box body being broken away; Fig. 3 is a view corresponding to Fig. 2, the said mechanism being in its alternative position; Fig. 4 is a sectional view on line IVIV of Fig. 2; Fig. 5 is a sectional view 7 on line V-V of Fig. 3.

Throughout the several figures like numerals indicate like parts.

1 is the ballot box, having thehingedlid 2 with the slotted aperture 8 therein, and the hinged hasp 4. for engagement with the staple 5 on thebox front 6, and adapted to receive a padlock 7. Within the box :front 6 and rigidly aflixed and permanently secured thereto is the spring lock 8 having the detents 9. Upon the inside of the cover 2 are guides 10', 10 within which is a slidable plate 11 having a flange 12 adapted to engage with a leaf spring catch 13. The plate has a rectangular opening 14: against whose opposite wall the stop 15 fixed on the lid is adapted "alternately to bear to limit motion of the plate in either direction. The upper edge of the plate is bent upward to form an upstanding flange 16 and is then bent inward to form an inturned member 17 having a. slot 18 adapted to receive the detents 9 of the spring lock 8 mounted on the front wall of the box and provided with the key-hole l9 therethrough for unlocking it. The cover is suitably hinged at 20, 20 to the box body. V

The method of use of this improved ballot box is as follows: The cover being open, the slidable plate 11 is moved into the position shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 4, so as to present an unobstructed slot for the deposit of ballots, being held in retracted position by engagement of its flange 12 with the spring clip 13. The cover is then closed and the hinged hasp 4 is engaged with the staple 5 and padlocked thereto. Afterthe polls are closed and the canvassing board open the box to count the ballots, the plate 11 is released from the spring clip and advanced so as to close the slot, the wall of the opening 1a abutting against the stop 15, as shown in Figs. 3 and 5. The counted ballots and the return thereof by the enumerators is then placed within the box and the lid close-d. By moving the slidable plate against the stop 15, the inturned flange member 17 is brought in position so that upon closing. the cover the slot 18 in the member 17 registers with the detents 9 of the spring lock 8 and the cover is held thereby in closed position, the plate being locked in closed position as well, whereby the slot 3 in the cover is sealed. The sealing and locking plate is of metal, thus the locked box constitutes a self-contained structure of such strength that it can not be opened readily save by unlocking, and its contents can not be injured, abstracted nor altered through the sealed slot. The self-contained feature of this structure is a further advantage in that by the avoidance of external projections Or fastening means above the cover, the boxes, when placed in a safe deposit vault or other storage warehouse, may be stored with economy of space, since they may be readily piled or stacked. The hasplock may be also employed as an added security if desired, but this is not essential when the spring lock engages the cover.

Having thus described the preferred em bodiment of my invention, whose structural details are susceptible of modification without departing from the spirit of my disclosure, and without desiringto be understood as limiting my invention to the particular form. thereof shown and described, I claim:

1. A ballot box having a lid with a ballotreceiving aperture therein, means carried by said lid adapted to close said aperture, and means adapted to lock both said closing means and said lid in. closed positions, said closing means and said locking means being located wholly within the box, said locking means becoming automatically operative upon the closing of the lid.

2. A ballot box having a lid hinged thereto with a ballot-reeeiving-slot therein, closing means located wholly within the box adapted to be moved to close said slot, and when so moved to be locked in closed position, and locking means located wholly within the box, adapted to be operated by shutting the lid and to cooperate with said closing means to lock simultaneously both said closing means and said lid in closed positions.

3. A ballot box having a lid hinged at one side thereof, and a ballot-receiving-slot therein, closure means within said lid adapted to. be moved to close said slot, and locking means fixed. to the opposite inner side of said box adapted to engage said closure means when in closed position, said lockingmeans being operable both to lock said lid and to lock said closure means, and being automatically operated by the closing of the lid.

4. A ballot box having a lid with a ballotreceiving-aperture therein, a plate adapted to slide in guides on the inner side of said lid, said plate having an aperture therein adapted to register with said ballot-receiving aperture when moved in one direction, and to close the same when moved in the opposite direction, a stop limiting the movement of said plate in either direction, means adapted to lock said plate in its slotexposing position, and means adapted to lock said plate in its slot-closing position.

5. A ballotbox having a cover with a slot therein, a spring lock, upon the interior of a wall of said box, means within said cover adapted to engage said spring lock, said means comprising a slotted plate adapted to be moved upon said cover alternately to expose said slot and to close same, said'plate having an extension adapted to engage said look when the plate is in slot-closing position, whereby closing the cover simultaneously locks both said box cover and said slot-closing plate.

6. A self-contained ballot box adapted to be stacked and having a flat lid, said lid having a ballot-receiving slot therein, means within said lid adapted to close said slot, and means within said box adapted to maintain said slot closed while the lid is closed, said means being adapted to operate automatically upon and by the closing of the lid.


Copies of this patent may be obtained for five cents each. by addressing the Commissioner of Patents, Washington, D. G.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3148827 *Dec 9, 1960Sep 15, 1964SeismoSelf sealing balloti boxtand mechanism
US4981259 *Oct 31, 1988Jan 1, 1991Ahmann John EBallot box
US5150834 *Feb 8, 1991Sep 29, 1992Bourke Michael JNewspaper delivery box
US8245905 *Feb 3, 2009Aug 21, 2012Lantz Paul DLocking ballot receptacle
U.S. Classification232/2
Cooperative ClassificationG07C13/02