US 3654709 A
A voting machine familiarization and/or operating instruction aid, comprising a machine frontally simulating a complete official voting machine but embodying in unique combination only operational components which are essential to indoctrination of prospective voters to accurate and efficient use of the simulated type complete and official machine.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Martin et al.
VOTER INSTRUCTION DEVICE Afton V. Martin; Michael T. Modovan, Jr., both of Jamestown, NY.
AVM Corporation, Jamestown, NY.
Filed: Dec. 30, 1970 Appl. No.: 102,914
Related US. Application Data Continuation of Ser. No. 797,811, Feb. 10, 1969, abandoned.
US. Cl ..35/13, 235/51 Int. Cl ..G09b 25/02, G07c 13/00 Field ofSearch ..35/1,8R,13;235/50,51,
[151 3,654,709 [451 Apr. i1, i9? 113:
References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS Primary Examiner-Wm. H. Grieb  ABSTRACT A voting machine familiarization and/or operating instruction aid, comprising a machine frontally simulating a complete official voting machine but embodying in unique combination only operational components which are essential to indoctrination of prospective voters to accurate and efficient use of the simulated type complete and official machine.
9 Claims, 20 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR 11 1912 SHEET 7 UF 9 WUL tuhtsm l sNw R WAN M WMI 0v L I CL M Z A TTORNEYS PATENTEDAPR 1 1 m2 SHEET 9 [IF 9 I N VEN TOR. AFTON M MART/N H ICHHEL 7.' MOL DOV/IN BACKGROUND AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION Whereas large numbers of voting machines of the type disclosed for example in US. Pat. Nos. 2,787,414; 2,943,786; 2,945,433 and 3,174,684 are in widespread use today, due to the fact that election usages of such machines by voters occur only from time to time, the average voter fails to acquire a degree of familiarity with the equipment such as is essential to his efficient use of such machines. In consequence, the voters occupancies of the machine are typically unduly prolonged, whereby the productive capabilities of the machine are only fractionally employed. Hence, in order to accommodate a given electorate and in order to avoid criticism as to voter delays, etc., it has heretofore been necessary to provide an inordinate number of machines at each polling place.
It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a novel voter instruction aid which simulates, from the voters standpoint, the official machine upon which he is preparing to actually register his votes. The instruction machine is to be disposed in line with the voters approach to the official machine, so that he may perform a dry-run voting operation on the demonstration machine under the guidance of an instruction official, before he enters the official machine.
Another object is to provide an instruction machine as aforesaid, the provision of which at a polling place will speed the official voting process to a substantial degree, thereby effecting substantial overall system capital investment and operating economies.
Another object is to provide an instruction machine as aforesaid which is adequate in every simulative aspect from the standpoint of the instructee, while being relatively inexpensive to use and maintain.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear in the following specification and the accompanying drawing, wherein:
THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of an instruction machine of the present invention, diagrammatically illustrating how the simulation voting machine is swingable outwardly and upwardly from its storage-transport case into operative position;
FIG. 2 is a close-up front perspective view of the device of FIG. 1, when in instructee-operative position;
FIG. 2A is an enlarged scale plan view of a voter instruction panel and exit control device, as shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary enlarged scale front elevational view of the device of FIG. 2, with a bottom front cover plate portion thereof removed to reveal an electrically operated drive mechanism;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary rear elevational view of the device of FIG. 3; the rear cover plates thereof being removed to reveal the interior mechanism;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view on enlarged scale taken as indicated at line 5-5 on FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken as indicated by line 6-6 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged scale view of the portion of the mechanism designated FIG. 7 on FIG. 3;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary section taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary front elevational view on enlarged scale, of a portion of the write-in mechanism of the machine designated FIG. 9 on FIG. 4;
FIG. 10 is a section taken on line 10-10 of FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a section taken on line 11-11 of FIG. 9;
FIG. 12 is a section taken on line 12-12 ofFIG. 9;
FIG. 13 is a section on enlarged scale taken on line 13-13 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 14 is a section taken on line 14-14 of FIG. 13;
FIG. 15 is a rear fragmentary elevational view on enlarged scale designated FIG. 15 on FIG. 4;
FIG. 16 is a section taken on line 16-16 of FIG. 15;
FIG. 17 is a schematic wiring diagram of the electric operating system of the machine;
FIG. 18 is a fragmentary front elevation of a manually operable drive mechanism which may be optionally furnished in lieu of the electrical drive mechanism shown at FIG. 3; and
FIG. 19 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on enlarged scale, as indicated at 19-19 of FIG. 18.
THE MACHINE ORGANIZATION IN GENERAL The machine of the invention comprises a compactly constructed apparatus carried within a single frame which is hingedly mounted within a combination container and base structure; whereby upon arrival at the voting precinct the mechanism may be swung out from the base structure and into an upright standing position thereon at such elevation as to present at typical voter eye level a main front panel portion carrying thereon a ballot format which is a duplicate of the ballot format on the official voting machine which the voter will subsequently operate. As shown herein, the voting panel format may include, in coordinate relation, horizontally aligned ballot labels carrying names of candidates according to party affiliation, disposed respectively in vertical alignments with captions designating the offices for which the candidates stand. Thus, candidates of the same party appear in horizontal alignments; beginning with the major office at the left side of the ballot format and terminating with the minor office at the right hand side. Hence, to the voter when viewing the format, it is readable to him in the familiar manner of reading any written or printed page.
Individually movable voting levers are provided in association with each candidate-office position for actuation by the voter in accordance with his selections. Straight Party voting levers are also supplied for use by the voter-instructee, to familiarize him with such voting procedures when authorized. In addition, referendum question labels having corresponding yes and no voting levers in association therewith are provided for selective actuation by the voter. Interlock means are provided to prevent the voter from any inadvertent or deliberate attempts at overvoting. Write-in" means are provided to enable the voter to simulate the writing-in of votes for candidates not listed on the ballot format. Custodian-controlled means are provided for variously pre-programming the machine so as to limit the voter to use of only certain portions of the voting format according to the applicable voting procedure requirements; all of which will also be described in more detail hereinafter.
THE MACHINE CASING FRAME AND BALLOTING ARRANGEMENT As best shown in FIGS. 1, 2, the instruction machine per se stores and/or transports within a container-like base designated 20, which is of open front and top rectangular boxlike form, resting on casters 22. The machine per se, as indicated generally at 24, is enclosed within a rectangular frame 25 which is hingedly mounted adjacent its bottom opposite end portions by means of hinge pins (not shown) to the side walls of the base-container 20; so as to be pivotal as shown diagrammatically at FIG. 1 from a downwardly suspended closed or storage position within the base, outwardly and up to the elevated stand-up position of FIG. 2. Such opening and closing movements of the machine 24 may be easily accomplished manually; and lock pins 26-26 are provided at opposite ends of the case 20 to be manually slip-fitted into cooperating bore holes in the machine frame 25, for holding the frame in upright standing position. Also, over-rotation prevention means may be provided in the form of stop block means as indicated at 27 (FIGS. 1, 2). Upon raising of the machine 24 to operative position as shown in FIG. 2 the machine custodian is thereby provided with access to the interior of the machine by opening a rear closure door 28 (FIG. 6), for programming it in preparation for a voter instruction operation, as will be more fully explained hereinafter. Then upon completion of the voter instruction session the machine 24 is simply swung back down into protected position within the base portion 20 for transport and/or storage purposes, pending subsequent use of the machine. To facilitate swinging of the machine upon its pivotal mounting, a handle as indicated at 29 is provided.
As best shown in FIGS. 2, 3, when the machine is thus opened for use, as the prospective voter approaches the machine he comes face to face and at normal eye level with the front panel 30 of the instruction machine which carries a precise simulation of the official ballot format. This panel 30 comprises a vertically standing metal plate which is set into the frame 25; the lower portion of the frame structure 25 including a bottom casing or cabinet portion 32. The front panel plate 30 is appropriately apertured to mount in journaled relation thereon the spindles 33 (FIGS. 4-8) of the simulative voting levers 35 (FIGS. 2, 3, 6, 8).
As indicated at 36 (FIGS. 3, 6, 13) card holders of channel form are mounted on the face of the panel 30 to extend horizontally across the voting format between the horizontal rows of voting levers, whereby as best shown in FIG. 3 candidate names and referendum question labels may be inserted in appropriate positions below the voting levers. Thus, the voter is instinctively guided to turn down the correct lever to point to and partially cover the labels designating his choices. Also, as indicated at 40, the front panel plate 30 is apertured to provide openings through which the voter may simulate write-ins of the name or names of candidates for whom he wishes to vote in preference to any of the candidates listed on the candidate labels, whenever such write-in privileges are available.
THE VOTING LEVER AND WRITE-IN INTERLOCK SYSTEM To match the versatility of the official voting machine in meeting requirements for a variety of voting procedures, it is necessary to provide in an instruction device of this kind means which may be adjusted to selectively interlock certain of the voting selectors or levers; so that in a contest where for example the voter is limited to a certain number of choices, it will be impossible for the voter to operate more than the permissible number of voting levers. In such cases it is necessary that interlocks be provided to prevent over-voting, both in the official machine and in the instruction machine. Moreover, since various election procedures present completely different interlock problems, easily operable facilities for setting up or programming the instruction machine must be provided.
Also, the official machines include devices operable in conjunction with the main interlock mechanisms so that when a voter elects to write in the name or names of one or more candidates on the paper ballot, he cannot also operate the mechanical voting levers assigned to candidates within the same office. Therefore, the instruction machine of the present invention is provided with similarly operable votercontrol means. For example, as shown in the drawing herewith at FIGS. 4-16, the interlock mechanisms may be of the types shown in prior U.S. Pat. No. 3,174,684; the major components of which will now be described.
As shown at FIG. 8, an interlock strap 42 is connected at its upper end to an elbow-shaped crank arm portion 44 extending radially from the shaft portion 33 of each of the voting levers 35. At their lower ends the straps 42 carry wedges 46 (FIG. sliding vertically within the interlock channel which is designated 48. As explained in the referenced patent, the interlock channel is programmed by the machine custodian so as to limit the voter to turn only the permissible number of pointers. A return bar as indicated at 50 (FIGS. 3, 4, 15, 16) is provided to return the straps, pointers and party lever bar to non-voted positions when the voter leaves the machine as explained in U.S. Pat. 3,174,684. Also, as shown at FIGS. 3, 4, 9, l3, 14, the writein apertures 40 are provided with vertically slidable shutters 52 riding in slots 53 (FIGS. 4, 9) which are covered by a cover plate 54 (FIGS. 3, 6, 13) whereby the voter may lift the shutters against their springs 55 (FIGS. 4, 13) and simulate write-in voting against a back plate 56 (FIGS. 6, 13). Note that the shutters 52 also carry interlock straps so as to restrict the voter to the permissive total number of selections.
THE VOTING PROCEDURE As the student voter approaches the instruction machine, the official instructor first depresses an entrance button" as illustrated at 60 (FIGS. 2, 3, 17) which momentarily closes a circuit energizing a holding relay as shown at 62 which thereupon creates a motor control circuit for a motor as shown at 64. The momentary closing of the relay 62 causes the relay to be locked in and to continue therefore to be energized. At the same time a circuit is made to the motor, causing it to rotate in a counterclockwise direction. It will be noted that one segment of this circuit is routed through the normally closed contacts of a relay as shown at 76. This segment represents an electrical interlock which prevents both of the motor windings from being energized simultaneously, since any energizing of the relay 76 will prevent the relay 62 from being energized. Through a gear rack system 66 the motor thereupon displaces a control strut 68 (FIG. 3) to the right, which causes a pair of bell cranks 70-70 to rotate and raise the strap control bar 50 so as to release the straps 42. At this point a stud 71 on the strut 68 operates to open a normally closed switch 72, thereby breaking the circuit powering the holding relay 62; thereby halting the motor drive operation. Thus, all of the voting pointers 35 and the write-in shutters 52 are now released for selective operation by the voter, within the operative parameters imposed thereon by the preprogrammed interlock system, as explained hereinabove. The student voter may therefore now simulate an actual voting operation under the guidance of the official instructor, and thus familiarize himself with the voting format as well as with the operation of the voting levers, writein facilities, etc.
After his vote selections have been made (thereby causing the corresponding switches 104 to be closed) he is instructed to depress the exit button which closes a circuit energizing the second holding relay 76. This causes the motor 64 to be reenergized, but to run in the opposite direction, thereby reversing the previous displacements of the drive mechanism. This causes the strap control bar 50 to lower, thereby returning all straps 42 and pointers 35 to their normal (locked) nonvoted positions. When the drive strut 68 returns to its original home position (FIG. 3) a stud 73 thereon opens a second normally closed switch 74 in the holding relay circuit, thereby deenergizing the latter and the'motor. Thus, the machine is restored to its normal inoperative condition, for reception of the next student voter. However, it is to be understood that if no vote selections are made, depressing the switch 75 will not actuate the motor as described hereinabove, since the switch 104 is still open.
To facilitate the voters use of the machine a voter instruction panel as indicated generally at (FIGS. 1, 2, 2A, 3) is provided to comprise a transparent window portion 82 carrying step-by-step instructions for the voter; i.e. 1) Make selections of your choice by turning voting levers over the names of the candidates of your choice. (2) Leave voting pointers down. (3) Push exit button to record vote." An electric lamp bulb 84 is disposed behind the window 82 and is arranged to be energized as shown in FIG. 17 when stud 71 closes a normally open third switch 86 (FIG. 17) to complete turned down by simply operating a swing lever. Accordingly, the machine of the present invention is illustrated at FIGS. 2, 3, to include a party lever as indicated at 90 in association with each row of candidate levers 35. The levers 90 are so arranged that upon manual operation thereof they will cause a lateral displacement of a corresponding control bar 92 (FIGS. 3, 4, 6, 8). Pin means as indicated at 94 (FIGS. 4, 7, 8) are provided for selective interconnections of various pointers 35 of any horizontal row thereof to the corresponding bar 92, and thus with the corresponding party lever". Accordingly, the machine may be pre-programmed by the machine custodian so that the voting pointers requisite to a party lever voting sequence are operatively interconnected with the appropriate party lever 90; whereupon if a voter desires to vote a straight party ticket, he may simply operate the appropriate party lever or levers. It is to be understood of course that this feature of the machine will be provided only if and whenever the official voting machine upon which the voter will subsequently enter provides the same party voting facilities.
The machine also includes an automatically operating mechanism for ensuring that the student voter enters at least one voting selection upon the machine ballot format prior to exiting from the machine; thereby further pre-conditioning the student voter to the environment he will experience when he enters the official voting machine. This mechanism as illustrated at FIGS. 3, 4, 5, comprises a crank device 96 (FIG. 3) which is automatically operable in response to raising of a release bar 100 which is carried on stirrup links 102. Thus, whenever a voting lever is voter operated to point to a voting selection, the interlock strap associated therewith will lift the release bar 100 so as to actuate the crank 96 as explained hereinabove. As illustrated at the left hand side of FIG. 3, when the crank 96 is so actuated it closes a normally open switch 104 which completes (except for the exit switch 75) the motor reversing circuit. In consequence, the student may now depress the exit switch to cause reverse operation of the motor; simulated registration of his selection; and restoration of the strap and pointer mechanisms to non-voted (locked) condition, as explained hereinabove.
FIG. 18 illustrates a manually operable drive mechanism for the machine, such as may be employed in lieu of the electrical system illustrated at FIGS. 3, 17. In this case, an entrance control button as illustrated at 110 (FIG. 18) is provided to extend externally of the machine casing and is arranged upon depression thereof to rotate a bell crank 112 to lift a strut 114. This in turn rotates a crank 116 to displace toward the left a control rod 118. Such displacement of the rod 118 opens a latch 119 thereby releasing a gear segment 120 which is carried by a shaft 122 journaled in the machine frame. A manual drive handle 125 is keyed to the shaft 122 for rotating the latter when the latch 119 is free.
When the student voter approaches the machine, the drive handle 125 is in its left hand (non-vote) position as illustrated at FIG. 18. In order to simulate operation of the corresponding official voting machine the student voter must now move the handle 125 over toward its extreme right hand position, as to its broken line position shown at FIG. 18. This operation of the handle causes a slide stud 126 carried at the bottom end of the handle to displace a forked link 128 in counterclockwise direction about its pivotal mounting 129 on the machine frame. This moves a drive strut 130 toward the right as viewed in FIG. 18. The drive strut 130 is pivotally connected at its opposite ends to bell cranks 132132 which are pivoted upon the machine frame as indicated at 133.
The bell cranks carry studs 134 which travel vertically in slots 135 formed in the panel plate 30 of the machine so as to extend rearwardly therethrough to engage in notched end portions of the return bar 50. The studs 134-134 also cammingly operate against swing hooks 136-136 carried at opposite ends of the machine frame so that when the studs 134 rise the swing hooks are cammed out of operative position, thus permitting the return bar 50 to rise only when the main drive handle 125 is in its right hand displaced (voting) position. Tension springs 138-438 operate to cause the return bar 50 to rise when they are so released from the swing hooks 136. Therefore, as explained hereinabove, the pointer straps 42 are now released and the machine is prepared for simulated voting.
In order to ensure that the student voter operates the drive handle fully into its voting position as illustrated by broken lines of FIG. 18, a full stroke pawl mechanism as indicated at 140 is provided in association with the toothed periphery of the gear segment 120; it being understood that the pawl device is so arranged as to permit oscillation of the segment alternately in opposite directions only upon completion of its full stroke in each direction.
To maintain the entrance control mechanism in open" condition throughout a complete vote simulating cycle of operation, a bell crank 142 is provided to carry a stud 144 which normally rides on the lower edge of the strut 118. A tension spring 145 biases the bell crank into riding position against the strut 118. The strut is formed with a recess or detent 146 which comes into positional registry with the stud 144 when the entrance button 110 is fully depressed, thereby temporarily locking the entrance mechanism against return. The drive strut 130 pivotally connects with one end of a rocker arm 150 which is pivotally mounted on the machine frame as indicated at 151. A swing latch 152 is pivotally mounted upon the machine frame as indicated at 153 and is normally biased into upright standing position by means of a tension spring 154.
The parts are so dimensioned and arranged that when the drive strut 130 is driven toward the right as viewed in FIG. 18, the rocker arm 150 rotates counterclockwise and cams past latch 152 so that the upper end of the rocker is then disposed to the left of the latch. Subsequently, upon return of the drive handle 125 from its right hand position toward its left hand position, the drive strut 130 causes the rocker 150 to rotate in clockwise direction, thereby causing the swing latch 152 to rotate in counterclockwise direction. Incidental to this operation the swing latch momentarily bears against a stud 156 extending laterally from the bell crank 142 in such manner as to force the bell crank to rotate in clockwise direction, thereby withdrawing the stud 144 from the detent 146. Thus it will be understood that when the drive handle 125 is returned to its home position as shown at FIG. 18, the entrance control bar 118 will be momentarily freed, thereby permitting the entrance control mechanism to return to its normal (locked) condition, in response to the force of gravity acting upon the vertically slidable portions of the mechanism.
As explained hereinabove in connection with the electrical control version of the drive system of the machine and as illustrated at FIG. 3, the bell crank 96 is controlled by the pointer release bar 100. In the case of the manual drive system, a push pull bar 160 is connected to the crank 96 and at its other end to a bell crank 162 (FIGS. 4, 18) which is carried on the machine frame to vertically displace a strut 164 controlling a latch 165. The latch 165 is arranged so that when the gear segment 120 rotates clockwise away from the position shown in FIG. 18, a stud 166 thereon cams the latch 165 out of the way until the stud bypasses the latch. The latch then falls down again by gravity to engage the stud 166 and to thereby prevent the voter from displacing the control handle 125 toward the left until after he has entered a vote selection as explained hereinabove. Upon entering of any vote selection, however, the associated strap 42 will have lifted the release bar 100, which in turn will operate to displace the control bar 160 toward the right as viewed in FIG. 18, thereby lifting the latch 165 about its pivotal mounting which is indicated at 168; and thereby freeing the manual drive mechanism for return to its home position.
What is claimed is:
l. A voter instruction device simulating an official voting machine, comprising in combination;
a voting format panel carried by said frame to face an instructee, said panel including a plurality of vote selection indicia;
a vote selection mechanism associated with each of said indicia and each mechanism including an actuating member extending forwardly of said panel for manual operation by the instructee;
an interlock strap connected with each actuating member for upwardly lifted vertical movement in response to manual operation of the actuating member by the instructee;
programmable interlock means for limiting the number and combinations of said interlock straps which may be so lifted whereby to conform the number and combinations of said actuating members which may be manually actuated by the instructee to a prescribed voting format which will prepare the instructee for actual machine voting at a later date;
a horizontally disposed return bar projecting through all of said straps and movable between a lowered position preventing upward movement of any of said straps and a raised position allowing said straps to be lifted according to the program permitted by said interlock means;
a horizontally disposed control strut;
a pair of bell cranks pivotally connected to opposite ends of said control strut and mounting said control strut for iongitudinal shifting with respect to said return bar, said bell cranks having portions engaging said return bar to fix said return bar in said lowered position thereof when said control strut is in one longitudinally shifted position while releasing said return bar to assume said raised position thereof when said control strut is in a second longitustructor may prevent manipulation of said actuating members while he is instructing the instructee.
2. The voter instruction device according to claim 1 wherein said control means comprises a horizontally disposed control rod, a bell crank pivotally connected to one end of said control rod and having a link extending therefrom to said button.
3. The voter instruction device according to claim 2 including spring means normally urging said return bar to said raised position thereof.
4. The voter instruction device according to claim 2 wherein said instructee-controlled means comprises a handle pivoted to said frame, a sector fixed to said handle, and a link pivoted to said frame and engaging both said handle and said control strut.
5. The voter instruction device according to claim 4 including a latch for retaining said control rod in position to release said control strut, and a latch release member actuated by said control strut to disengage said latch when said control strut is shifted to said second position thereof.
6. The voter instruction device according to claim 5 wherein said control means includes a bell crank actuated by said control rod and having a latch portion engaging said sector.
7. The voter instruction device according to claim 1 wherein said instructee-controlled means comprises a reversible motor drivingly connected to said control strut and switches for energizing said motor in opposite directions; said control means comprising a pair of holding relays and a pair of switches associated respectively with said relays, one switch of each of said pair of switches being actuated in a corresponding first and second position of said control strut.
8. The voter instruction device according to claim 7 including an instruction panel having an illuminating light, and a switch for energizing said light when said control strut IS in said second position thereof.
9. The voter instruction device according to claim 8 wherein said instructor-controlled button actuates a switch in series with one of said pair of switches.