Packaging unit for voting machine
US 3181785 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 4, 1965 l. G. LAWS ETAL PACKAGING UNIT FOR VOTING MACHINE Filed April 19, 1962 5 SheetsSheet 1 INVENTORS A24 6. LAWS AA/D BY O/A/eLEs EMMETT w/zso/v E? WMF MMMML, FMWOMW7 May 4, 1965 e. LAWS ETAL PACKAGING UNIT FOR VOTING MACHINE Filed April 19, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 IN VEN TORS /2A .6. LAWS AND BY Cf/AELES EMMETT' W/1. 70M
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United States Patent 0 3,181,785 PACKAGING UNIT FOR VOTING MACHINE Ira G. Laws, Tulsa, Okla, and Charles Emmett Wilson,
Leawood, Kans., assignors to Seismograph Service Corporation, Tulsa, Okla, a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 19, 1962, Ser. No. 188,691 4 Claims. (Cl. 235-51) This invention relates to a combined voting machine and package for the machine and its accessories and is more particularly concerned with a new and improved Combination of a voting machine and packaging case therefor for protecting the machine when it is not in use during storage or transport and for providing a supporting structure for the voting machine when it is being utilized at the polling place during an election.
The transport case of the present invention is adapted to be used in conjunction with a voting machine of the type disclosed and claimed in the copending patent application, Serial No. 120,281, filed June 28, 1961, of Edward J. Crossland et al. for a Counter Type Voting Machine, which application is assigned to the same assignee as this application. Provision is also made in the transport case of the present invention for storing and carrying diiferent accessories for a voting machine including remote voter classification control boxes of the type disclosed and claimed in the copending patent application of Robert B. McCaskill for Apparatus for Use in Setting Voting Machine for Voter Classification, Serial No. 120,214, filed June 28, 1961, and a write-in attachment as disclosed and claimed in the copending application of Robert B. Mc- Caskill et al., Serial No. 188,672 filed simultaneously herewith, both applications being assigned to the same assignee as the present invention.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved packaging unit for a voting machine and its various accessories so constructed that the entire package can be easily transported from one place to another and may be safely stored between elections.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved voting machine case for housing a Voting machine and for providing a support base for the voting machine when it is being used at a polling place during an election.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved voting machine case for housing a voting machine and various accessories thereto which is compact, simple and economical in construction and operation, light in weight'and easily transportable from place to place.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved voting machine case for housing a voting machine and various accessories thereto which includes apparatus for providing a closed voting booth for a person using the voting machine during an election.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved voting machine case for housing a voting machine and various accessories thereto in which the voting machine is pivotally supported in a way that the machine can be easily moved from an upright position where it is locked in place'for use by a voter during an election to a storing position where it is secured within the case for transportation and/ or storage.
The foregoing and other objects of the present invention are accomplished by providing a voting machine case having a lower compartment adapted to interfit with a removable upper cover. Pivotal support means are provided adjacent the upper end of the lower compartment for pivotally supporting a voting machine which may be moved between an upright or voting position and a lower or storing position. Means are provided on the lower compartment for latching the voting machine in its upright position to permit use by a voter during an election. The latching means may be released to permit the machine to be pivoted about the lower compartment to its storing position where it is secured within the lower compartment. Storage space is also provided in the lower compartment for the various accessories of the voting machine including the write-in attachment, the remote voter classification box and the cable for connecting the latter box to the voting machine. Means are also provided to adequately secure these accessories within separate storage areas in the lower compartment. A curtain and support rods therefor, which are adapted to be detachably secured to the voting machine to form a closed voting booth during an election, are also stored within the lower compartment.
The invention both as to its organization and manner of operation together with further objects and advantages will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a combined voting machine and transport case as characterized by the features of the present invention illustrating the lower compartment of the transport case as it is utilized as a support base for a voting machine;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the voting machine case of FIG. 1 with the voting machine stored therein and with the top cover of the case assembled to form a closed housing;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional view taken along a line corresponding substantially to the line 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, sectional view taken along a line substantially corresponding to the line 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along a line corre sponding substantially to the line 55 of FIG. 4 assuming, of course, that the latter shows the entire construction;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary side elevational view showing particularly the pivotal support mechanism of the transport case of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a reduced, fragmentary sectional View taken along a line substantially corresponding to the line 77 in FIG. 5 assuming again that the latter shows the entire construction; and
FIG. 8 is an enlarged detailed view of the latch mechanism taken substantially along a line corresponding to line 83 of FIG. 3. I
' Referring now to the drawings, there is illustrated in FIG. 2 a transport case 10 for containing and supporting a voting machine 12 (FIG. 1) and its associated accessories as described hereinafter. The voting machine 12 is of the type described in the above-identified Crossland et al. application Serial No. 120,281, and is comprised generally of a vertically extending voting panel section 14 and a lower power supply section 16. The right end of the lower power supply section 16 is provided with a power panel door 18 which may be unlocked with a key and opened to permit electrical connections to be made to the voting machine when the latter is set up for use during an election.
The transport case 10 is comprised of a lower compartment 20 which serves as a support base for the voting machine when the machine is being utilized during an election as shown in FIG. 1. A removable top cover 22 is provided to interlit with the lower compartment 20 as is shown in FIGS. 2, 4 and 5 to form a protective enclosure for the machine during storage or transportation. The lower compartment 20 is formed by a fiat base or platform 20a of relatively thick metal such as steel plate and by relatively thin side walls 20b and 200, a rear Wall Mid and a hinged front door 21. The side and rear walls of the lower compartment are secured to the base a through angle bars 23 welded or otherwise secured to the edges of the base. The front door 21 is hinged to the side wall 20c to permit the door to be opened when the voting machine is to be swung from one position to the other. Casters 24 are provided on the bottom of the lower compartment 20 to facilitate movement of the apparatus from one place to another. The cover 22 and the lower compartment it). may be constructed of metal covered plywood or sheet metal. As is shown in FIG. 5, the upper edges of the side walls of the lower compartment and the lower edges of the side walls of the top cover abut each other when the top cover is in place. The lower edges of the front and rear walls of the top cover are indented as shown at 22a in FIG. 4 to fit inside and underlie the upper edges of the front and rear walls of the lower compartrnent thus retaining the top cover in position when it is placed on the lower compartment. Screws (not shown) may be passed through these overlapping edges to secure the cover 22 and the lower compartment 20 together to form a rectangularly shaped, compact package.
In order to support the voting machine 12 for pivotal movement upon. the lower compartment 20 a pair of side mounting brackets 28 are respectively secured to the opposed side walls Ztlb and 20c of the lower compartment. These brackets are of similar construction and each comprises a pivot plate 30 secured to the extreme upper ends of a pair of vertically extending channel bars 32. Each of the channel bars 32 is fastened rigidly to the inside surfaces of the end walls of the lower compartment and each extends upwardly beyond the top edges'of this compartment. Each pair of channel bars 32 rigidly supports its associated pivot plate 30 in a position spaced above the top edges of the lower compartment side wall and provides reinforcement for the side walls as well as distributing the weight of the voting machine to the base 20a and the angle bars 23. An open space is defined between the upper edge of the side wall 20b and the lower edge of the pivot plate 30 between the channel bars 32 so that access may be had to. the power panel door 18 on the right side of the voting machine as viewed in FIG. 1. A similar space is provided by the bracket 28 mounted on the other side wall 200.
Pivot pins 34 carried by the plates 30 pivotally support the voting machine 12 through brackets 36 which are rigidly attached to the side walls of the voting panel section 14. A latching means is provided on each side for locking the voting machine in its voting or upright position as shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 8. Each of these latching means comprises a locking pin 38 carried in a channel bracket 38a attached to the bottom surface of the power supply section 16 of the voting machines. As is illustrated in FIG. 8, the pin 38 is biased by a spring 381) towards the unlatched position. The pin 38 is adapted to engage in a recess 39 provided in the inner face of the side wall 20b or 200 of the lower compartment when the voting machine is in the upright voting position. The pin 38 is provided with a stop 380 which can be passed through suitable slots 38d in the channel bracket when the stops and slots are aligned and when the pin 38 moves outward into the recess. In order to engage the latching means the pins 38 are rotated until the stops 380 are aligned with the slots 38d whereupon the pins are pushed outward to the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 8 with the outer ends of the pins seated in the recesses 39. The pins 38 are then rotated so that the stops 380 are not aligned'with the slots 38d with the result that the springs 38b are ineffective to return the pins 38 to the unlatched positions. Additional support for the Voting machine is provided by an adjustable stop bolt 40 carried by a shelf 42 and its associated angle support 41 secured to the rear wall 20d of the lower compartment 20. The adjustable stop bolt 40 supports some of the weight of the voting 4 machine thus reducing the forces on the latch mechanisms 38 and, in addition, this bolt provides a means for raising or lowering the rear corner of the voting machine to insure that it is properly positioned to receive the latch pins when the machine is in its voting position.
A shelf 42 is attached to the rear wall 20d and the side walls Ztib and 2th: of the lower compartment and provides additional rigidity for the compartment. This shelf includes a downwardly depending integrally formed front skirt 44 which also stitfens the structure. As isbest shown in FIGS. 5 and 7 a strap 43 and a bracket 45 are attached to the top of the shelf 42 for holding a model keyboard 47 which may be used during an election to instruct the voter as to how the machine should be used. An addi-. tional strap 39 is provided on the shelf 42 for holding a lamp 49 which may be detachably secured to the top of the voting machine during an election. To this end, the
voting machine may be provided with an electric plug (not shown) to supply power from the power supply unit 516 to the lamp when the latter is assembled. The shelf 42 may be provided with an opening 420: to accommodate the reflector of the lamp 49 when it is strapped in place on the shelf. Further straps 51 are provided on the shelf 42 for holding a remote automatic voter classification card box unit 53 of the type described in the above-identified copending application of Robert B. McCaskill, Serial No. 120,214. In preparing the package unit for shipment or storage, all of the various accessories listed above are secured by means of the straps to the shelf 42 before the top cover 22 is put in place. When the machine is to be used in an election, after the top cover is removed these various accessories are unstrapped and removed from the shelf prior to swinging the voting machine to its upward position. 7
The front door 21 is attached to the side wall Zticby a long hinge 46. Door stops 48 are provided on the upper surface of the bottom of the lower compartment to abut the inside surface of the front door when it is closed. Suitable fasteners are provided on the front door for engaging the stops 48 and the side Wall 2012 to fasten the door in place when it is closed.
A lower rear shelf 50 is provided in the lower compartment 20 for supporting a write-in attachment 52 as described in the above-identifiedsimultaneously filed Mc- Caskill et a1. application, Serial No. 188,672. The shelf 50 is secured to the rear and side walls of the lower compartment and provides additional stiffening for the cabinet. The write-in attachment 52 when not in use is placed on the shelf 50 with its corner attaching plugs fitting into suitable apertures in the shelf and the attachment is held in position by a pair of straps 55 each secured at one end to the skirt 44 and at the other end to an eye 55a on an integral front skirt 56 downwardly depending from the front edge of the shelf 50. The lower edge of the skirt 56 is joined to the bottom of the lower compartment. An opening 56a is provided in the skirt 56 so that a manually operated voter classification switch unit 58 of the type disclosed in the above-identified Mc- Caskill application, Senial No. 120,214,. as previously mentioned, may be attached to the bottom of the lower compartment by means of a strap 60. Rubber bumpers 63 are provided on the rear of the front door 21 and similar bumpers are provided on the front of the skirt 56 to hold the voting machine securely in place and to cushion vibrations when the machine is in its retracted position within the package unit.
In order to provide a closed booth to insure a secret ballot when the voting machine is used, there is provided a pair of folda-ble curtain rods 64 carrying a pair of slideable curtains 66. The curtain rods are detachably secured at their inner ends to the upper front face of the voting machine by means. of pins 68 downwardly depending from the curtain rods and seating within sockets 70 secured to the voting machine. Each curtain rod 64 is comprised of two legs 64a and 6411 which are pivotally joined together at 65 by means of a pin. The ends of the leg 64b are adapted to be fastened together when the curtain rod is in place for voting as illustrated in FIG. 1. When it is desired to remove the curtains and the rods after an election, the outer ends of the rods 64b are disengaged from each other and the rods are folded back against the front face of the voting machine and held thereagainst by a clamp 72 secured to the top of the voting machine. A rod or other holder (not shown) 18 preferably provided at the junction corner between the front panel of the voting machine and the top of the power supply section 16 in order to hold the lower ends of the curtain when the rods 64 are folded back.
When it is desired to set up the voting machine for use at an election, the case containing the machine is transported to the desired location in the form illustrated in FIGS. 2, 4 and 6. The small size and relatively low weight of the unit makes handling and transportation relatively easy and the handling is further facilitated by the casters 24 and handles 26. The top cover 22 is then removed from the lower compartment 20 by loosening the four corner fastening screws and by then lifting the top cover. Next, the various accessories which are securely strapped to the top of the shelf 42 are removed ready for use. The fasteners securing the front door 21 of the lower compartment are then unfastened and the front door is swung open. The voting machine is then pivoted clockwise from the position shown in FIG. 4 and in broken lines in FIG. 3 until it is in the upright position shown in FIG. 3. If the adjustable stop 40 has been properly adjusted, the spring biased pins 38 are aligned with the apertures 39 but if the pins and apertures are misaligned the stop 40 is adjusted until the voting machine can be locked in a proper upright position with respect to the lower compartment in the manner described above. The model keyboard 47 is removed for use during the election. The lamp 49 and the voter classification unit 53 (if used) are then suitably connected to the voting machine, the voter classification unit being electrically connected to the power supply section 16 of the machine through the power panel door 18 in the manner fully described in the previously mentioned McCaskill application, Serial No. 120,214. Electrical power is connected to the machine through suitable power cables which may be suitably carried in the lower compartment beneath the shelf 50. If a switch type voter classification unit 58 as shown in FIG. 5 is used, the strap 60 is released and this unit is connected to the machine through a cable extending through the power panel door 18. If a write-in attachment 52 is used, it is removed from its storage position shown in FIG. 5 and attached to the machine as shown in FIG. 1 in a manner more fully described in the copending application of McCaskill et al., Serial No. 188,672, previously mentioned.
The clamp 72 is then loosened and the curtain rods 64 are swung into place as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 whereupon the outer ends of the rod sections 6412 are fastened together and the curtains 66 are pulled completely around the rods to form a covered voting booth for the voter utilizing the machine. The front door 21 of the lower compartment is then closed and fastened in place and the machine is ready for use.
When the polls have closed and it is desired toremove the machine to another location for storage, the front door 21 is unfastened and swung open. The write-in attachment 52 is removed from the front of the machine and strapped in place as shown in FIG. 5. All power cables are disconnected from the machine and wound into compact units for storage in the area under the shelf 50. The voter classification unit is then disconnected from the machine and assembled in its storage position within the compartment 20 whereupon the power panel door 18 is closed.
Next, the lamp 49 is removed from its position shown in FIG. 1 and the joined ends of the curtain rod sections 64b are unfastened and the curtain rods are folded back against the front face of the voting machine and secured thereto by the clamp 72. The latches 38 are then disengaged and the voting machine is pivoted counterclockwise as viewed in FIG. 3 to its retracted position as shown in FIG. 4 with the front face of the voting panel Section 14 seating against the bumpers 62. The front door 21 of the lower compartment is then closed and fastened thus securing the voting machine tightly in place between the bumpers 63. The accessories fitting on'the shelf 42 are then assembled and strapped securely in position. The top cover 22 is then put in place as shown in FIGS. 2, 4 and 6 and is secured by the four'corner screws and the machine is ready for moving.
It can be seen from the foregoing that the present invention provides a compact packaging unit including a transport case containing a voting machine and its accessories and protecting them from damage during transit. The rubber bumpers 63 securely hold the voting machine in place so that it cannot be damaged by rough handling. Provision is also made for securely storing accessories to the machine within the case so that a complete set of voting equipment is available. The case is'light in weight, simple in construction and occupies a minimum of storage space because of the'unique way in which the machine and its accessories are positioned within the case. Moreover, the rectangular shape of the completed package facilitates storage of the units one upon the other and closely together in side by side relationship so that a large number of units can be stored in a relatively small area. The lower compartment in addition to its housing and protective utility also functions as a support base for the voting machine when the latter is to be used during an election, thus making the voting procedure a simple and easy operation at a convenient level.
While a particular embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be apparent that many modifications will readily occur to those skilled in this art and it is, therefore, contemplated by the appended claims to cover any such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A package combination comprising a voting machine and a transport case for housing said machine and accessories comprising a compartment having a movable wall and a pair of side walls, means carried by said side walls for pivotally mounting said machine to allow said machine to pivot between an upright voting position and a downward storing position when said movable wall is opened, latch means engageable with said machine and said side walls for latching said machine in said upright voting position, cushioning means on said movable wall and within said compartment for holding said machine in said downward storing position when said movable wall is in place, means including shelf means within said lower compartment for fixedly securing accessories to said machine within said lower compartment, and a top cover means engageable with said lower compartment to form a closed container for housing said machine and accesories when said machine is in its downward storing position.
2. A package combination comprising a voting machine having a normally vertically extending voting panel and a lower power supply section, and a transport case having a compartment with a movable wall panel extending generally parallel to said voting panel and a pair of side walls extending transversely thereof, means carried by said side walls for pivotally mounting said voting machine about an axis parallel to said movable wall panel and above said side walls and extending through said lower power supply panel section, said machine being pivotable between an upright voting position above said compartment and a downward storing position where at least a portion of said voting panel is contained in said compartment, latch means carried by said power supply section engageable with said compartment for securing said machine in said upright voting position, cushioning means contained in said compartment for securely holding said voting panel in said downward position, means including an adjustable foot offset from said pivot axis and engageable betweensaid lower power supply panel and said lower compartment for securing said voting machine in said upright position, and removable cover means engageable with said compartment and forming an enclosed housing therewith for containing said voting machine when it is in said downward storing position.
3. A package combination including a voting machine and a combination transport case and support base for said machine, said case comprising a support base having a bottom and upwardly extending side walls and a front and rear wall forming a compartment, means carried on. said side walls for pivotally mounting said voting machine about an axis extending parallel to said bottom and positioned above said side walls, means including latch means engageable between said compartment and said voting machine and offset from said axis for securing said machine in an upright voting position above said support base, adjustable support means engageable between said lower compartment and said voting machine and offset from said axis for supporting said machine in an upright voting position, cushion means in said compartment for securing a portion of said machine within said support base when said machine is pivoted about said axis to a downward storing position, and removable cover means engageable with said compartment and forming therewith a closed chamber for housing said voting machine when it is in said downward storing position.
4. A package combination comprising a voting machine and a transport case for housing and supporting said machine, said case comprising a compartment having a I said compartment for detachably securing accessories to said machine in said compartment when said machine is in a downward storing position, second shelf means in said compartment for detachably securing a write-in attachment for said machine in said compartment, securing means on said bottom for detachably securing another voting machine accessory on said bottom, and cushioning means in said compartment for securing said machine in said compartment when said machine is in a downward storing position.
References Cited hy the Examiner UNITED STATES' PATENTS 994,763 6/11 Loe 235-64 1,045,729 11/12 Mooney 312-410 1,108,3 84 8/14 McTammany 235-5O 3,047,350 7/62 Eckstein et' al 312-300 FOREIGN PATENTS 694,740 7/53 Great Britain. 1,063,886 8/59 Germany.
ROBERT L. EVANS, Primary Examiner.
LEO SMILOW, Examiner.