US 3460854 A
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w. K. KOELLING ABSENTEE BALLOT DEVICE Aug. 12, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet Filed Aug. 11. 1967 LS SIDE CARD PLACE HOLES OVER POSTS INSERT CARD BALLOT --Sheet 2 .102 Ida/a W. K. KOELLING masmvrm: BALLOT DEVICE mus scum v 5 .PERCY COUNTY o STATE, o x
H) \hmgo CHRRLE Aug. 12, 1969 Filed Aug. 11. 1967 United. States Patent 3,460,854 Patented Aug. 12, 1969 3,460,854 ABSENTEE BALLOT DEVICE Wilford K. Koelling, 115 Collier Ave., Bartonville, Ill. 61609 Filed Aug. 11, 1967, Ser. No. 660,038 Int. Cl. 342d 15/00 U.S. Cl. 283-5 12 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present application discloses an absentee balloting device whereby the absentee voter may indicate his choice on a record card adapted for machine processing, similar to the cards used in voting booths. To this end it is proposed to use an absentee balloting device whereby the record card to be selectively perforated may be preassembled in a novel manner with the printed ballots and mailed as a unit to the absentee voter. Upon receipt of the combined record card and ballot, the recipient may selectively perforate the card with facility, and return the properly perforated card by mail to the official ballot custodian.
Apparatus for voting booths has heretofore been available whereby the voters choice of candidates, propositions, etc., may be indicated by using a stylus to perforate ballot cards of the type adapted for machine processing. However, applicant is not aware of the availability of a satisfactory absentee ballot device which may be used in conjunction with the above-mentioned system of balloting.
The present invention contemplates an improved absentee balloting device of the type referred to above which is very compact and light in weight, so that it may be sent by mail at minimum expense.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a novel and practical absentee balloting device whereby record cards may be perforated by the absentee voter, and to this end it is proposed to use a lightweight, perforatable pad upon which an unperforated record card may be placed and subsequently perforated with a stylus.
Still more specifically the present invention comprehends the use of a novel pad arrangement into which punched out portions of a record card may be forced by the use of a stylus or the like.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide an absentee ballot device as set forth above which may be stocked by the official custodian of ballots for future use, and which device is adapted selectively for use to accommodate one or more ballot sheets, depending upon the requirements in a given election.
The foregoing and other objects and advantages will be more apparent from the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a balloting device and associated record card which represents one embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the ballot sheets or leaves adapted to be adhesively secured to the upper face of the pad shown in FIG. 1 after the required number of covering strips have been removed to expose a sufficient number of rows of adhesive areas for accommodating a corresponding number of hinged margins of ballot sheets;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional view taken substantially along the line 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of the upper left-hand corner of the balloting device as shown in FIG. 1, with covering or perforation areas of the pad removed to expose perforation areas of the record card otherwise hidden thereby;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of the lower left-hand corner of the balloting device shown in FIG. 1, three of the covering strips being partially peeled away from the adhesively treated surface;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the absentee ballot device shown in FIG. 1, with the ballot sheets adhesively mounted in position after the covering strips have been removed to expose the ballot sheet accommodating areas of the pad;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 7-7 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged transverse fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 8-8 of FIG.
FIG. 9 is an enlarged plan view of a fragmentary portion of the perforation areas of the pad, more clearly to illustrate those areas which are adapted selectively to receive the stylus and thereby cause a corresponding area of the record card positioned therebeneath to be punched out; and
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 10--10 of FIG. 9 to illustrate the manner in which the stylus is used to perforate the record card and to force the punched out portion into the body portion of the pad positioned immediately beneath the record card.
Referring now to the drawings more in detail, wherein like numerals have been employed to designate similar parts through the various figures, it will be seen that one embodiment of an absentee balloting device constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention is designated generally by the numeral 12. The device 12 includes a pad structure designated generally by the numeral 14, which includes a perforatable lightweight section 16. A pad section of lightweight, perforatable material such as expanded polystyrene, sometimes identified by the trade name Styrofoam, has proven satisfactory for use. The pad may also include a covering sheet section 18 along the upper surface and side margins thereof.
It will be noted that the upper surface of the pad portion 16 is recessed to accommodate a record card 22 of the type adapted for data machine processing. This recess is included within the area indicated by the brackets 23 and 24, FIG. 1. The portion of the sheet 18 of the pad 14 positioned immediately above and, in fact, adjacently superimposing the inserted record card 22 together with adjacent ballot sheet mounting portions, will be referred to herein as the perforation area of the pad.
At this point, attention is directed to the plurality of covering strips 26. A thin layer of adhesive material 28 on the upper surface of the covering sheet 18 serves to secure the strips 26 against unauthorized removal. The number of strips on each card 22 will equal the number of corresponding perforation rows on the card. The number of ballot sheets to be attached to the card will determine the number of covering strips to be removed. Three of these covering strips 26 are shown in FIG. 5 as being partially peeled away from the adhesive surface 28. Removal of the strips 26 not only exposes the adhesive 28 but also a series or row of apertures 30 which serve to facilitate the initial application of a stylus 32, in a manner about to be described.
In the disclosed embodiment, a ballot arrangement or unit is designated generally by the numeral 34, FIGS. 2 and 6, and consists of a plurality of ballot sheets 36, 38, 40, 42 and 44, upon which the names of the candidates or other data is printed. Extending between and hingedly connected with the margins of each pair of sheets or leaves is a perforation area made up of two rows, A
J and B. Pressure applied to the rows A and B will cause these rows to become afiixed to and form a perforation area of the pad 14. Indicia in the form of numbers on the rows A and B will superimpose like indicia on the record card 22 po itioned therebeneath. Also, each of the stylus guiding apertures 30 will register with a complementary rectangular area 30a on the record card. The remaining pairs of perforation rows coresponding to the rows A and B, are subsequently adhered to the surface 28 until the entire area above the record card has been superimposed by corresponding numbers and guide apertures corresponding with the rectangular punch-out areas 30a.
With the ballot sheets 30 to 44, inclusive, thus secured to the upper surface of the pad 14, these sheets may be folded fiat against each other so as to present a compact self-contained balloting device consisting of the pad 14, the ballot sheets, the perforatable record card 22 positioned beneath and in registration with the pad perforation areas or rows A and B, and the stylus 32 detachably secured to the pad by a convenient holder 46. A se1f-addressed return envelope for the record card 22 is also enclosed with the absentee balloting device, to facilitate return of the perforated ballot to the office of the official custodian. Each ballot carries an individual serial number, such as the number 017550, illustrated in the drawing.
Upon receiving the above-mentioned balloting device, the absentee voter selectively punches and perforates the record card. At this point it should be understood that the physical nature of the perforatable material 16 of the pad 14 is important. This material must be firm enough to form a solid backing for the record card 22 and yet sufliciently impressionable in limited areas to assure the complete separation of the complementary rectangle 30a from the record card when pressure is applied With the stylus 32. It has been found, for example, that material such as substantially imperforate Styrofoam will function satisfactorily. As clearly indicated in FIG. 10, the punch-out rectangular portions 30a may actually be forced into the perforatable or impressionable material of the pad portion 16. In the disclosed embodiment, each of the rows A and B in the vicinity of the apertures 30 of the sheet 18 may be provided with a slightly larger aperture 48, FIG. 9. However, in some instances it may be desirable to use apertures of smaller diameters in registration with the apertures 30.
To facilitate proper location of the record or ballot card 22 within the recess on the pad 14, it is preferable to provide upwardly extending projections 50 on the pad which register with complementary apertures 50a in the ballot card 22. With the projections or post 50 telescopically associated with the complementary apertures 50a, the ballot card will be so located that the perforation or rectangular punchout areas of the card will be positioned immediately beneath and in registration with the corresponding perforation areas of the pad 14.
In the disclosed embodiment of the invention, the number of ballot sheets is such as to require all of the covering strips 26 to be removed to provide sufiicient areas to accommodate the ballots. In instances Where a lesser number of candidates or propositions are to be voted upon, it is only necessary to remove a corresponding lesser number of covering strips to accommodate the ballot. In some instances it might be necessary to remove only a single covering strip 26 to accommodate the type of ballot which is to be sent to the absentee voter. This flexibility of use to accommodate smaller or larger ballots by use of the same absentee balloting device makes for economy and voting simplicity. Some ballot cards now used in voting booths employ a larger number of rows than the eight rows shown in the present drawings. Obviously the present invention is not limited to any specific number or any particular arrangement of rows. It is of importance, however, that the arrangement of the perforations on the pad correspond with the arrangement of the perforation areas of the ballot cards and that the registration of both perforation areas be assured at the time the absentee voter applies the perforating stylus.
From the foregoing it will be apparent that the present invention makes it possible for the absentee voter to exercise his voting rights with the same degree of accuracy and with substantially the same secrecy as the voter in the polling booth. The only possible personal identification of the absentee voter is by observation of the serial number on the card, and inasmuch as the card is usable only with a data processing machine, the danger of violating voting secrecy is held to a very minimum. In the system of absentee balloting heretofore in use, it has been common practice for the absentee voter to obtain a conventional ballot upon which the voter indicates a choice of candidate by placing an X in the usual square. In such a system, the personal identity of the absentee voter is more readily made known upon the return of the marked ballot, and also there is the everpresent danger of ballot tampering. As previously mentioned, the lightness in weight, as well as compactness, makes it possible to send this improved absentee balloting device through the mails at minimum cost. Also, the entire unit may be produced very economically.
The above-described absentee balloting device is not limited for use in election balloting, but may also be used in conducting a Wide variety of surveys.
For purposes of illustration, certain details of construction of the improved absentee ballot device have been described herein, but it should be understood that other modifications and changes are contemplated Without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
The invention is claimed as follows:
1. An absentee ballot device for registering voting data and the like in the form of perforations on a record card of the type adapted for data machine processing, the areas of perforation on said card being disposed in predetermined groups, a relatively lightweight, perforatable pad structure, perforation areas adjacently associated With the upper side of said pad structure and disposed transversely of the pad structure in predetertermined groups corresponding with the disposition of perforation areas on the record card to be accommodated, means associated with the upper side of said pad structure and beneath said pad perforation areas for releasably accommodating said record card and for positioning the perforation areas of said card adjacently beneath and in registration with corresponding pad perforation areas, and sheet means hingedly mounted to a corresponding group perforation area on said pad structure and having indicia which bear position relationship to certain of said pad perforation areas in the adjacent group to which said sheet means is hingedly mounted, the physical nature of said pad structure being such as to permit perforation thereof by a stylus or the like as an incident to pressure applied thereby at a selected pad perforation area to effect the desired perforation of a record card when positioned therebeneath.
2. An absentee ballot device for registering voting data and the like as set forth in claim 1, wherein the sheet means is adhesively attached to the upper side of said pad structure.
3. An absentee ballot device for registering voting data and the like as set forth in claim 1, wherein those portions of the pad perforation areas not required for a given number of hingedly mounted sheet means are covered by adhesively attached strip means.
4. An absentee ballot device for registering voting data and the like as set forth in claim 1, wherein the pad perforation areas include apertures in registration with corresponding perforatable areas on an associated record card to facilitate guidance of the entering extremity of a stylus.
5. An absentee ballot device for registering voting data and the like as set forth in claim 1, wherein a stylus is associated Wtih the pad structure.
6. An absentee ballot device for registering voting data and the like as set forth in claim 1, wherein the pad structure includes a sheet of material of sufficient thickness and cellular structure to permit perforation thereof by a stylus as well as the portion of the record card punched therefrom as an incident to pressure applied by the stylus.
7. An absentee ballot device for registering voting data and the like as set forth in claim 1, wherein a record card of the type adapted for data machine processing is associated with the upper side of the pad structure as a preassembled unit.
8. An absentee ballot device for registering voting data and the like in the form of perforations on a record card of the type adapted for data machine processing, the areas of perforation on said card being disposed in predetermined groups, a relatively lightweight, perforatable pad structure, perforation areas associated with the upper side of said pad structure disposed in predetermined groups corresponding with the disposition of perforation areas on the record card to be accommodated, pocket means associated with the upper side of said pad structure and beneath said pad perforation areas for releasably accommodating said record card and for positioning the perforation areas of said card adjacent beneath and in registration with corresponding pad perforation areas, and strip means covering pad perforation areas, said strip means being selectively removable to expose pad perforation areas which serve to accommodate sheet means having indicia which bear positioning relationship to certain of said exposed pad perforation areas from which a strip means has been removed.
9. An absentee ballot device for registering voting data and the like as set forth in claim 8, wherein the strips are adhesively attached to the upper side of the pad structure and are removable to expose an adhesive surface for subsequently accommodating sheet means for indicia which bear position relationship to certain of said pad perforation areas.
10. An absentee ballot device for registering voting data and the like as set forth in claim 8, wherein a perforatable record card of the type adapted for data machine processing is preassembled as a unit with the upper side of the pad structure, the perforatable portion of the card being positioned adjacently beneath the pad perforation area.
11. An absentee ballot device for registering voting data and the like as set forth in claim 1, wherein the pad structure includes a sheet having lightweight and perforatable characteristics similar to expanded polystyrene.
12. An absence ballot device for registering voting data and the like as set forth in claim 8, wherein the pad structure includes a sheet having lightweight and perforatable characteristics similar to expanded polystyrene.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,350,914 8/1920 Baker 283--5 1,416,679 5/1922 Cotter 283--5 2,137,447 11/1938 Ellis 3548.1 2,551,083 5/1951 Angeli et a1. 3548.1 X 3,060,782 10/1962 Burgess 35-48 3,210,093 10/1965 Steidinger 28121 3,294,424 12/1966 Mathews 3548.1
LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner