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Publication numberUS3710105 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 9, 1973
Filing dateApr 1, 1970
Priority dateApr 1, 1970
Publication numberUS 3710105 A, US 3710105A, US-A-3710105, US3710105 A, US3710105A
InventorsG Happs, D Keltie, J Oxendine
Original AssigneeFilper Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Voting machine and method
US 3710105 A
Abstract
A programmable voting machine utilizing electronic data processing techniques has a plurality of voting booths operated from a central control module containing a memory and control circuitry. Prior to each election, information concerning the form and content of the ballot to be used is supplied to the memory by a program, which information is used during the election in tabulating votes, detecting and preventing erroneous votes, and operating a write-in printer to receive write-in votes. The votes are totalized and stored in the memory as they are cast, but only at the conclusion of the election may the totalized votes be printed or conveyed to a central counting station.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent llll 3,710,105

Oxendine, Jr. et al. 1 Jan. 9, 1973 541 VOTING MACHINE AND METHOD 3,221,364 7 H1966 Clark .135/54 F Inventors: Joseph W. oxemnne, walnut 3,232,528 2/1966 Crossland et al 235/54 F Creek; Gary J. l-lapps, Concord;

' Primary ExammerStephen J. Tomsky Dale Keme Hayward of Cahf' AttorneyBoyken, Mohler, Foster & Schwab [73] Assignee: Filper Corporation, San Ramon,

Calif. [57] ABSTRACT Filedl April 1970 A programmable voting machine utilizing electronic [21] Appl- No': 24.662 data processing techniques has a plurality of voting booths operated from a central control module containing a memory and control circuitry. Prior to each Cl F election, information concerning the form and content [5|] Int. Cl. r r t ..G07c 13/00 of th ballot to b used is supplied to the memory by a Field Search 54 146 program, which information is used during the election in tabulating votes, detecting and preventing erl l References Cited roneous votes, and operating a write-in printer to UNITED STATES PATENTS YCCCIVB. write-m votes. The votes are totalized and stored in the memory as they are cast, but only at the 3,024,974 3/1962 Hocker 235/54 F conclusion of the election may the totalized votes be 3,162,362 12/1964 lalbulis-rr- /5 F printed or conveyed to a central counting station. 3,2l4,09l 10/1965 Clark ...235/54 F 3,226,0l8 12/1965 Railsback et al. ..235/54 F 14 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures fIG.

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PATENTEDJAH 9 1975 3,710,105

sum 6 or 6 FIG. I I .941! 4. K4217! mu, M M

VOTING MACHINE AND METHOD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to machines and methods for collecting votes cast in an election, and in particular to machines which are used at a particular polling place to record and totalize all of the votes made by a series of voters during a voting day at that polling place and to a method of operation of such a machine.

Voting by machine is a familiar procedure for voters residing in urban areas. Mechanical voting machines, capable of being prepared to prevent the casting of a disallowed vote, have been available and in extensive use since at least I925, and such machines, substantially unchanged, are still in extensive use. Each one of such machines contains many thousands of moving parts, and adjustments must be made to perhaps hundreds of these parts in each machine in preparation for a given election. Such preparation is expensive and time consuming in that workmen of some skill must be utilized.

Write-in votes may cause additional problems with such machines. Many machines utilize a relatively wide paper tape extending between a pair of rollers and threaded past numerous windows disposed transversely of the tape which are openable by the voter by the displacement of a slide. Each office for which a write-in vote can be cast has a window associated therewith. The tape is moved from one roller to the other between voters, entailing the use of a great deal of paper, and tabulating such a tape is tedious and difficult and prone to error since the only indication of the office for which a name written on the roll is to apply is its position across the tape. Further, once a voter has chosen to make a write-in vote, he is frequently unable to change his mind and vote for a listed candidate.

Difficulties also arise at the close of a voting day because the votes cast are recorded on a series of mechanical counters positioned in the machine. These counters must be individually read and the readings thereon transferred into suitable form for transmission to a central counting point for tabulation, a procedure amenable to human error. Finally, each of these counters must be returned to zero in preparation for the nextelection.

In recent years numerous schemes for the application of computerized data processing techniques have been proposed for use in the voting process. Computerized tabulation is becoming more and more widely used, however, few computerized systems have found successful use at the polling place.

It is thus an object of the invention to provide a machine for receiving votes utilizing computerized data processing techniques which are not susceptible to human error or mechanical failure.

Another object of the invention is to provide a voting machine which is readily prepared for an election without requiring extensive expenditure of time and effort by skilled personnel.

Another object of the invention is to provide a voting machine which may be prepared for an election without internal physical operation on the machine itself.

Another object of the invention is to provide a voting machine which is readily amenable to the receipt and tabulation of write-in votes.

Another object of the invention is to provide a voting machine from which the totalized votes may be transmitted to a central tabulating station without requiring human intervention.

Another object of the invention is to provide a voting machine which is not subject to error as a result of variations in the power supplied thereto.

Another object of the invention is to provide a voting machine in which only allowable votes may be cast.

Another object of the invention is to provide a voting machine in which a voter is free to change any vote he has made, including a write-in vote, before he has completed voting. I

Another object of the invention is to provide a method for collecting votes in which no extensive and skilled preparation is needed before an election.

Another object of the invention is to provide a method for collecting votes using computerized data processing techniques.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved machine and method for collecting votes.

Other objects of the invention will be apparent from the accompanying drawings and description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a voting machine of the invention as it might appear installed in a polling place.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the voting panel in one of the booths of the voting machine of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a detailed view of portions of the panel shown in FIG. 2 showing one portion as prepared for votes between candidates for offices and another portion as prepared for votes for or against propositions.

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the control panel for the voting machine of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of the voting machine of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a program for the voting machine of the invention for the ballot portions shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 is a view of a portion of a test print-out tape for the ballot portions of FIG. 3.

FIG. 8 is a view of a portion ofa print-out tape showing election results for the ballot portions of FIG. 3.

FIG. 9 is a view of the face of the write-in printer accessible to the voter with portions shown in phantom.

FIG. 10 is a view of the write-in printer taken in a plane perpendicular to FIG. 9 with portions shown in cross-section along line I0l0 in FIG. 9 and portions shown in phantom.

FIG. 11 is a view of the paper transport and printer in the write-in printer taken from the same vantage point as FIG. 9 but with the cover plate removed.

FIG. 12 is an end view of the write-in printer showing the paper transport during removal.

FIG. I3 is a view of portion of a write-in vote tape corresponding to the ballot portions of FIG. 3.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Physically, the voting machine of the invention is comprised of one or more voting booths 21 (FIG. I) each attached to a totalizer 22 by a cable 23. In theory any number of voting booths required to effectively operate a given precinct could be controlled by a single totalizer, however, in practice it has been found that the maximum number of booths needed to operate most precincts is eight, and frequently fewer are required. Accordingly the totalizer as developed may operate any number of booths up to eight, and no generality is lost by considering a single booth connected to a totalizer for the purposes of this disclosure.

The voting booth 21 may take on any structure in which a voting panel 24 is supported at a convenient height by a stand 26. Sides 27 may then be extended from the edges of the panel 24 to form an enclosure for the voter, which enclosure may then be closed for secrecy by a curtain 28 in any convenient manner. While any suitable enclosure containing a voting panel 24 as hereinafter described may be used, the compact nature of the components contained in the present invention permit unusual economy of space to be attained. Advantage may be taken of this economy of space by forming the booth structure in pairs of booths in back to back arrangement. Such a pair of booths may then be constructed to be collapsible for containment in their common stand 26 for convenient transportation and storage between elections. Further economies in space and operation may also be made since the pairing of booths in this manner may permit the sharing of a portion of the control circuitry located with a booth by the pair as hereinafter described.

In describing the machine in detail, the elements of which it is comprised will first be simply identified without a description of how they function with respect to one another. The functions of the individual elements will then be described as a part of a detailed description of the function of the entire machine.

The voting panel 24 (FIGS. 2 and 3) is comprised of an array of actuatable elements 29 which may be actuated by the voter to register a desired vote or deactuated by the voter if a vote is desired to be changed before voting has been completed. These elements may be positioned adjacent one another in a series of columns 3], which columns are positioned sufficiently far apart to allow cards 32 to be positioned therebetween. On the cards the identity and significance of each of the elements 29 which are to have significance in a given election are indicated and provision may be made for removably holding these cards 32 in such position. In the preparation of the cards 32, indicators 33, such as arrows or boxes, may be printed along the edge thereof adjacent the column 31 of elements 29 and positioned next to the ones of the elements 29 having significance (FIG. 3). The elements 29 may be designed so that each will show an X 34 adjacent an indicator 33 when the element 29 is in actuated condition.

The actuable elements 29 may take any convenient form so long as their state may be changed from a deactuated state to an actuated state and returned by an action of a voter and so long as such a change of state changes some measurable electrical characteristic of the element. It has been found useful to utilize a lever bearing a magnetic shield positioned such that moving the lever into its actuated condition moves the magnetic shield from between a fixed permanent magnet and a normally open reed switch such that the reed switch is closed thereby.

Also included within the booth 21 in a position adjacent the voting panel 24 are a tabulate button 36, a write-in printer 37 for recording any write-in votes that the voter might wish to make, and a group of error lights 39 for informing the voter of an attempted erroneous vote. As indicated above, certain portions of the control circuitry which must be duplicated for each panel 24 or for each pair of such panels may also be located at some convenient place in the booth 21 or stand 26 which is not accessible to the voter.

The totalizer 22 connected to the voting booth 21 by the cable 23, contains a memory, a printer, and the control circuitry by which the entire machine is operated.

The memory may be of any convenient type capable of receiving and storing information for use at a later time. In the machine as developed, a magnetic core memory has been found to be suitable.

The printer also may be of any convenient type capable of printing a column of numbers on paper. The printer used in the machine as developed is comprised ofa plurality of CESCO printer elements commercially available from California Electro-Scientific Company. Each such element is comprised of a freely spinnable wheel which has the digits from zero to nine raised from about the circumference thereof, means for spinning the wheel on its axis, means for stopping such spinning, and means for detecting which of the digits is positioned in the print position when the spinning of the wheel has been stopped. The elements are mounted side-by-side with the wheels therein coaxially disposed. The number of wheels, seven in the machine as developed, is chosen to be at least as large as the number of digits in the largest number the printer will have to print.

When a number is to be printed, the wheel in each element is repeatedly spun and stopped until the detector associated therewith detects that the digit on that wheel positioned in the print position is the one located in the desired number in the position corresponding to the position of the wheel on the axle. When all the wheels are so positioned, pressure sensitive paper tape is pressed against all of the raised digits in the print position and the tape is advanced to receive the next number.

The control circuitry is comprised of numerous subcircuits each of which is designed to perform a specific function. These sub-circuits are comprised of conventional circuit elements, such as and" and or" integrated logic circuit elements, and the circuits themselves are either conventional or are within the design capability of a skilled electronic engineer.

The face of the totalizer 22 is a control panel 41 (FIG. 4) by which an election official can control and monitor the operation of the machine. The controls on the panel 4! may include, a polls open/closed switch 43, a button 44 to operate the printer, buttons 45 by which the individual booths may be activated and so conditioned for each voter as to accept votes from the voter for all candidates in a general election or for a particular party only in a primary, a light 46 indicating power on," a light 47 indicating polls-open," a light 48 indicating "polls closed," lights 50 for each booth which indicate the presence and nature of an attempted erroneous vote therein and a light 51 for each booth which indicates that the panel 24 in that booth is out of order. These components may be entirely conventional, although it is preferable to use a key operated switch for the polls open/closed switch 43.

Referring now to FIG. 5, a block diagram of the entire machine, the function of the machine in general and of its components can be seen by considering the sequence of events which would occur prior to, during, and after an election. In FIG. 5 the printer is designated 53, the memory is designated 54 and the control circuitry is generally designated 55 and is shown broken down into its sub-circuits.

Preparation of the machine prior to an election is a three-step procedure.

The first step entails the preparation of each booth 21 by placing the cards 32 in the spaces provided for them between the columns 31 of elements 29, which cards 32 may be prepared at any time after the form of the ballot has been determined. Since all elements 29 on the panel 24 are equivalent, any arrangement of offices, candidates, propositions, and other items may be used, and it is not necessary to place propositions only in certain positions nor to restrict certain parties or offices to particular rows or columns. FIG. 3 shows how a candidate portion 56 of a ballot might be set up in a primary election and how a portion 57 ofa ballot might be set up for voting on propositions. If a straight ticket vote is permitted by state law one of the indicators 33 may be assigned to each party on the ballot and if a write-in vote is permitted for an office, extra indicators 33, up to the number of the allowed votes, each having the label write-in, may be positioned with those indicators 33 for the listed candidates for the office. In FIG. 3 for example, the element 29' is assigned to write-ins for the office of Governor where only one vote is allowed while three elements 29" are assigned to write-ins for members of the County Committee where three votes are allowed. Again, any conveniently placed element 29 may be used for such straight ticket or write-in votes.

The second step in preparation of the machine for an election is the programming of the memory 54. This programming, which also erases from the memory 54 all information left from prior elections, is accomplished through the line 58 by the use of an input device 59 which may take any convenient form, such as a reader for punched paper or magnetic tape or for punched cards, depending upon the medium in which the program is expressed. In the development of the invention, punched paper tape and an associated reader have been found satisfactory.

Since the input device is used only once for the preparation of each machine for each election, it is not necessary that such a device be permanently attached to each machine. Accordingly, one input device may be used to program numerous machines in the days before an election simply by providing a connector 61 in the line 58 by which the device 59 may be attached to the machine. Reading a stack of cards or a paper or mag netic tape takes only a few seconds, so numerous machines can be programmed in a short period of time with only a few input devices. Further machines can be programmed in the polling places themselves, if necessary, by simply taking an input device to the machine and reading the program into the memory.

By the master program. certain information, depending upon the nature of the particular election for which it was prepared, is transferred to the memory 54. This information includes the identities of the elements 29 corresponding to indicators 33 on the cards 32 so that only these elements will register a vote when actuated, the grouping of these elements 29 to correspond to a single office or a single proposition, and, for each such group, the party to which the group applies, if any, and the number of votes which may be cast in the group. In addition, if write-in votes are present in the group, the elements 29 assigned to the write-in are identified as such.

A sample program is shown in FIG. 6 for the portions of the ballot shown in FIG. 3.

In the top line of the program, information identifying the election, such as the year and the number of the election in that year may be supplied to the memory 54. Thereafter each line of the program applies to a column 31 of the voting panel 24.

In the second line of the program, corresponding to the candidate portion 56 of FIG. 3, the "h" at the beginning indicates an element 29 which is unused because of a heading on the card 32. The first of the two digits immediately following the h" indicates the party to which the group of candiates under the heading belongs, and thus the row of the buttons 45 on the control panel 41 to which the group is to correspond, and the second of the two digits indicates the number of votes that may be cast in the group. The 2 here means Republican and only one vote is allowed in the group. The elements 29 comprising the group are identified by the two cs" and the w" following the digits, the cs" indicating that the elements 29 in the two positions below the heading corresponding to listed candidates and the "w" indicating that the position after the two listed candidates corresponds to a write-in vote. The following space and "h" indicate that there are two unused elements 29 after the write-in and that there is a heading starting a new group of candidates. As before, the digits then indicate that the group is Republican and that three votes are allowed, the elements 29 corresponding to listed candidates are identified as are the elements 29 corresponding to the three write-in votes.

The remaining line of the program of FIG. 6 cor responds to the proposition portion 57 of the ballot of FIG. 3 and is structured in a similar manner, the two spaces before the first h" indicating that the first used element 29 is the fourth in the column 31 and the 5" referring to a non-partisan measure for which a vote can be cast by voters registered as party members or as independents.

Following the same system a program for any possible ballot configuration can be structured quickly and easily by unskilled personnel, and while the same master program may be used to program only those machines which use the same ballot, it may be used to program all such machines. Where different polling places in a community utilize ballots which differ, such as when neighboring precincts fall in separate congressional districts, different programs will have to be prepared for such machines, however, the ease of program preparation will render this a small task.

Further, the input device 59 may be designed to accept only programs of the proper form, rejecting those in which digits follow c's" or ws or do not follow h's", for example. Thus the preparation of a large number of machines can be accomplished quickly and easily with the participation of only a limited number of skilled personnel.

The third preparation step is the taking ofa test print out. This is accomplished upon completion of the programming step and before the polls are opened by the switch 43 by operating the print button 44 on the panel 41. This button 44, connected to the printer control logic 62 by the line 63, causes the printer control logic 62 to operate the printer 53 through line 64 to print out a test tape 66 like that shown in FIG. 7 for the program shown in FIG. 6. The information on this tape 66 will be read from the memory 54 through line 65 and will comprise essentially a reproduction of the program supplied to the machine.

In the tape 66 of FIG. 7, the first line 67 is printed at the bottom and it is a reproduction of the first line of the program which identifies the election, perhaps by year and number.

In the remaining lines, the three digits in the first column 68 identify the element 29 to which the information in the second column is to apply, the first of these digits identifying the column 31 on the panel 24 and the other two digits identifying the number of the element 29 from the top of that column 31. The proposition portion 57 of the ballot of FIG. 3 has been arbitrarily chosen to be in the seventh column 31 on the panel 24 for this disclosure. In the case ofa heading or h in the program in a space corresponding to an element 29, the first and third of the four digits in the second column 69 of the test tape opposite the identification number of that element 29, such as 101" should be zeros while the second is the party code number of the program, here 2 for Republican and the fourth digit in this column indicates the number of votes allowed in the group of elements 29 following the heading, here one. In the case of a listed candidate or c" in the program or a w in the program in a space corresponding to an element 29, the four digits in the second column of the test tape opposite the identification number of that element 29, such as I02, should be zeros indicating that the vote count for that element 29 is zero before the election. Where a space has been left in the program indicating that an element 29 is not to be used, the identification number of that element 29, such as l05," does not appear on the test tape.

The last or top line 71 of the test tape has in its first column a number which does not refer to any element 29 on the panel 24. While there are nine columns 31 on the panel 24 in the machine as developed, such column 31 has only 48 elements 29 so that the "950" identifies no such element 29. The zeros in the second column 69 of the last line 71 indicate that no voters have voted on the machine.

The test tape 66 is then read to make sure that the machine is correctly programmed and it is included with the totalizer 22 when it is sent out to the polling place.

Installation of the machine in the polling place, which only entails erecting the booths 21, attaching them to the totalizer 22 by the cables 23 and connecting the totalizer 22 to a convenient source of electrical power by the line 72, may be done before or after the preparation steps described above. The light 46, activated through the line 73, will indicate that the power is on to the machine, and, after a second test tape is run for comparison with the first to be sure the machine has undergone no changes in shipping, the machine is ready for a voting day.

Before voting can commence, the polls open/closed" switch 43 must be operated, allowing the machine to receive votes by transmitting a signal to the ballot scan control logic 76 through the line 77. The polls open" light is also illuminated by the ballot scan control logic through the line 75.

Once the polls open/closed" switch 43 has been operated to open the polls, the printer control logic 62 will no longer receive a signal through the line 79. This prevents the printer button 44 from activating the printer 52 until the polls open/closed switch 43 has again been operated to close the polls when the machine can no longer receive further votes. Further, the operation of the polls open/closed switch 43 to open and close the polls is recorded in the memory 54 through the line 80. The ballot scan control logic 76 is able to detect the presence of this information in the memory 54 through the line 81 and it is designed to not allow the polls to be reopened when it detects that the polls have once been opened and closed since the machine was last programmed. Thus, the machine cannot again receive votes until the memory 54 has been reprogrammed. This feature, combined with the deactivation of the printer 53 while the polls are open, is a safety device for assuring the secrecy of each voter's ballot by preventing a print-out from being obtained during the course of a voting day. To obtain such a print-out, it would be necessary to close the polls, but to do so would disable the machine until it was reprogrammed.

When a voter presents himself at the polling place to cast his ballot, and has complied with whatever form ali ties may be required, he is assigned to a voting booth by the election official who then activates the assigned booth by operating one of the bottom program buttons 45. If the election is a primary election, the election official operates that one of the buttons 45 corresponding to the assigned booth and to the voter's party, while in a general election, a button 45 corresponding to just the booth to be activated may be operated. Operating a button 45 transmits a signal from the button 45 to a ballot status circuit 82 through a line 83. The ballot status circuit 82 in turn signals the identity of the booth 21 assigned to the ballot scan control logic 76 through the line 84. thereby conditioning the panel 24 in that booth to receive votes, without the operation of one of the buttons 45, the booth will be able to receive no votes, and the election official may thereby keep control over each of the booths.

Once in the booth 2! the voter selects the votes he desires to cast by actuating the elements 29 positioned adjacent the indicators 33 on the cards 32 which correspond to those votes. An X" 34 will appear adjacent each such indicator 33 indicating to the voter his selection of that vote.

As indicated above, as each of the elements 29 is actuated, some electrical condition thereof is altered so that the actuation thereof may be detected. This detecting may be accomplished in any of numerous ways, however, the machine as developed utilizes a particularly efficient method entailing a minimum of circuitry.

To prevent the need for communicating the state of each of the elements 29 in each of the booths 21 to the totalizer 22 individually, means are provided in each of the booths 21 for scanning the entire voting panel 24 sequentially many times each second. A scanning circuit 86 is provided in each booth 21 which scans the panel 24 therein by a line 70 according to instructions received from the totalizer 24 through the line 87. The results of the scan are transmitted back to the totalizer through the line 88 which along with line 87, is included within the cable 23. In the case of the back-toback booth arrangement described above, one such scanning circuit 86 can be used for each pair of booths to scan the panels in both, either alternately or simul taneously.

Where several panels 24, each having numerous elements 29 are to be scanned sequentially and periodically, a number of methods are possible. In the preferred embodiment of the machine, the scanning circuits 86 in the several booths are each instructed through their respective lines 87 by an address circuit 89 in the totalizer 22 to look at an element 29 at a particular address on their respective panels 24. This instruction is also recorded in the memory 54 through line 90. The conditions of the various elements 29 at this address are all transmitted from the panels 24 through the respective lines 88 to a ballot select circuit 91 which looks at the panels 24 one at a time and reports which of the elements 29 at this address have been actuated to the ballot scan control logic 76 along the line 92. When all the information available at a given address on the various panels has been obtained, the address circuit 89 is instructed through the line 93 to instruct the various scanning circuits 86 to look at elements 29 at another address until all the elements 29 in all the panels have been scanned. This could be done by looking at all of the elements 29 at one address on the various panels with the ballot select circuit 91 and then changing addresses, however, in the preferred embodiment all of the addresses on one panel are looked at before the ballot select circuit 9] moves on to another panel.

As the voting progresses and the output of the ballot select circuit 91 is transmitted to the ballot scan control logic 76 along the line 92 a voter error monitor circuit 94 in the control circuitry 55 attached to the memory 54 by a line 95 receives the identities of the elements 29 actuated by the voter from the ballot scan control logic 76 by the line 96 and compares this information with the criteria for casting a correct ballot which was stored in the memory 54 and to the identity ofthe party select button 45 operated for the booth which it receives from the ballot status circuit 82 on the line 97. ll the voter error monitor circuit 94 recognizes that some criteria for a correct ballot, such as voting for and against a proposition, voting for too many candidates for an office, or voting for a candidate from the wrong party in a primary, it illuminates error lights 39 and 50 on voting panel 24 and the control panel 4], respectively, through the lines 99 and 98 informing both the election official and the voter that a mistaken vote has been selected by the voter and of the nature of the mistake. An audible signal may also be actuated within the voting booth 21 to further inform the voter of the error. If the voter has made an incorrect vote, he may rectify it by deactuating appropriate ones of the elements 29 to make his ballot correct and the ballot scan control logic 76 will transmit this information to the voter error monitor circuit 94 which will in turn turn off the error lights 39 and 52. The voter is also free to deactuate actuated elements and actuate others as he is voting in response to a change of mind in the voting process.

If the voter wishes to write in a vote for an office for which a write-in vote is permitted, he need only actuate the element 29 positioned adjacent the indicator 33 labeled write-in which corresponds to that office. The actuation of such an element will be detected by the ballot scan control logic 76 in the same manner as described above, and the identity of the element 29 actuated will be compared with the information stored in the memory 54 by the master program and received through line 81 and determined to be one of those which is to correspond to a write-in vote. The ballot scan control logic 76 will then activate the write-in printer 37 through the line 100.

The write-in printer 37 may take any convenient form in which a medium, such as a piece of paper, suitably identified to correspond to the office for which the write-in vote is to be made, is presented to the voter for the write-in vote to be entered thereon and then stored out of sight of the next voter for tabulation at a later time. ln the present invention, a particularly useful form of write-in printer has been developed.

in the write-in printer 37 developed for the invention (FIGS. 9-12) the medium upon which the write-in vote is entered takes the form of a paper tape 101, wide enough to allow a single name to be written thereacross and to provide a relatively narrow marginal portion 102 (FIGS. 9, 1]) to one side of the written name, which paper tape 101 extends from one roller 103 to another 104 (FIG. 12). The rollers 103 and 104 are both mounted in the booth 21 so as to be inaccessible to the voter, and as the tape [01 passes therebetween, it is guided past a window 105 by a pair of rollers 106 so as to provide access thereto by the voter so that the write-in vote may be entered thereon. The window 105 is of sufficient height and width to permit convenient writing of the name on the tape 101, but narrow enough to render the marginal portion 102 of the paper tape 101 inaccessible to the voter. A plate 107 (FIGS. 10, 11) may be positioned adjacent the window 105 behind the tape 101 to provide a firm writing surface for the voter.

The paper tape 101 is transferred from one roller 103 to the other 104 by driving at least the take-up roller 104 by a motor 108 (FIG. 10). The amount of tape 10! transferred from one roller to the other during operation of the motor 108 may be detected by a suitable detector 109 (FIG. 10) associated with one of the rollers 103, 104 or with the paper tape 101 as it passes therebetween. 1n the preferred embodiment of the invention, the detector 109 is associated with one of the rollers 106, thus greatly simplifying the detecting procedure since these rollers 106 always turn the same amount during the passage of a fixed amount of paper while the amount the rollers 103, 104 turn for that fixed amount of paper depends on the accumulation of paper thereon.

A printer 110 is positioned adjacent the tape 101 so as to print an identifying number thereon in the marginal portion 102 thereof which is not accessible to the voter. While any convenient form of printer may be used, it has been found satisfactory to employ three of the CESCO printing elements described above with respect to the printer 53 and to use a paper tape 101 which is pressure sensitive.

Further conveniences in the write-in printer 37 as developed result from mounting the motor 108, detector 109 and printer 110 on the frame of the booth 21 but mounting the paper feed and take-up rollers, 103 and 104. respectively, the guide rollers 106 and the plate 107 on a frame 111 which is removable from the frame of the booth 21 so that rolls of paper tape may be conveniently placed on the feed roller 103 and threaded to the take-up roller 104 before an election and removed therefrom for counting after an election. Suitable connectors 112 may then be provided between the roller 104 and the motor 108 and between the roller 106 and the detector 109 so that the roller 104 may be driven by the motor 108 and the detector 109 by the roller 106.

To permit access to this removable frame 111, the cover plate 113 for the write-in printer 37 containing the window 105 may be made removable and provided with a locking closure mechanism 114 to prevent unauthorized access thereto. The printer 110 may also be mounted by a pivot 115 (FIG. on the frame of the booth 21 so as to be swingable up into contact with the paper tape 101 to print thereon. A solenoid 116 (FIG. 10) may then be mounted on the frame of the booth 21 and connected to the printer 110 by a suitable linkage 117 (FIG. 10) to swing the printer into such position.

When the ballot scan control logic 76 activates the write-in printer 37, the takeup roller 104 is rotated by the motor 108 until a length of paper tape 101 equal to at least the height of the window 105 has been taken up thereby as detected by the detector 109. The printer 110 is also activated to print a number on the marginal portion 102 of the paper tape 101 adjacent the portion which is moved into the window 105, which number is a code number assigned to the element 29 operated by the voter to cast a write-in vote by the program and is supplied to the write-in printer 37 by the ballot scan control logic 76 from the memory 54. This number, which is the address of the element 29 in the preferred embodiment, identifies the write-in vote entered on the paper tape 101 by the voter with the office for which the write-in vote is cast. The voter then simply writes the name of the candidate for whom he wishes to cast a write-in vote on the portion of the paper tape 101 showing through the window 105.

If the voter desires to cast another write-in vote for that or another office, he simply repeats the precedure with that one of the elements 29 which corresponds to a write-in vote for that office. The write-in printer 37 will be activated to present to him a fresh portion ofthe paper tape 101, suitably identified with a number corresponding to that element 29 upon which he may enter his vote.

if the voter desires to change an already cast write-in vote, either to another write-in candidate or to one of the candidates listed on the voting panel 24, he need only return the element 29 corresponding to the writein vote for that office which he had formerly entered, to its deactuated condition. When the ballot scan control logic 76 detects that such an element 29 is no longer in an actuated state, it will activate the write-in printer 37 as before and cause the same number to be printed again upon the marginal portion 102 of the paper tape 101. A new write-in name may then be entered on the paper tape 10] by again actuating the element 29 and entering the name on the tape 101 or an element 29 corresponding to one of the listed candidates may then be actuated on the panel 24. When the paper tape 101 is read after the election for tabulation purposes a second occurence of a number will indicate that the prior write-in vote adjacent that same number entered by the same voter is not to be counted although a name opposite a later occurrence of the number may be counted if not cancelled as above.

When the voter has completed the voting process, he need only actuate the tabulate button 36. Operation of this button initiates a number of steps related to the recording of the votes cast and to the preparation of the booth for the next voter.

Recording of the vote cast is accomplished by the ballot scan control logic 76 attached to the tabulate button 36 by a line 118 and by a vote counter circuit 119 which receives information from the memory 54 by a line 120 and feeds information to the memory by a line 121 and which is attached to the ballot scan control logic 76 by a line 122. Actuation of the tabulate button 36 informs the ballot scan control logic 76 that the voter wishes the votes that he has selected to be cast. If the ballot scan control logic 76 does not receive from the voter error monitor 94 a signal on a line 123 that the votes the voter has selected to be cast comprise a disallowed ballot. the ballot scan control logic 76 will look at the next scan of that panel 24 to record the results thereof in the memory.

When the ballot scan control logic 76 receives a signal during this scan from the ballot select circuit 91, that an element on the panel has been activated at a particular address, it informs the vote counter circuit 119 of that address through the line 122. The memory 54 will have stored therein at this time the total of all of the votes cast for the candidate at this address on all the voting panels 24 thus far during the election. The vote counter circuit 119 will remove this total from the memory 54 through the line 120, will add one vote to this total and will store the increased total resulting therefrom in the memory 54 through the line 121.

Also stored in the memory at this time will be the total of the number of voters who have cast votes at all of the panels 24 thus far during the election, and the vote counter circuit 119 will similarly remove this total from memory and store therein a new total increased by one. Thus there will be stored in the memory 54 at any given time during an election the total of all of the voters who have voted at all of the panels 24 to that time and the totals of the votes cast to that time at each of the addresses at all of the panels.

Preparation of the booth for the next voter is also accomplished in response to the operation of the tabulate button 36. This entails operating a reset mechanism 124 in the panel 24 through the line 125 which is designed according to the type of element 29 used to simultaneously return all the actuable elements 29 to their deactuated conditions, informing the ballot status circuit 82 through the line 126 to deactivate the booth program button 45 activated prior to the voters entry into the booth and operating the paper transfer motor 108 in the write-in printer 37 through the line 100 to move the paper tape 101 a distance at least the width of the window 105 as determined by the detector 109, if the voter has cast a write-in vote. The voting panel 24 will thus be clear and ready to receive votes from the next voter, the ballot scan control logic 76 will be informed by the ballot status circuit 82 through line 84 to no longer look at the scans of the panel 24, effectively turning that panel off, and any write-in votes that the voter may have made, will no longer be visible to the next voter. Further, since the paper transfer motor 108 in the write-in printer 37 will be activated again before a write-in vote is made by a later voter, a blank space will appear on the paper tape 101 between voters to permit the person later tabulating the write-in votes to distinguish between voters. Alternatively, the machine may be designed to print indicia in this space to more clearly mark the change in voters.

The reset mechanism 124 may also be used in conjunction with scanning circuitry described above to check on the condition of all of the elements 29 on a panel 24 before a voter begins casting his votes thereon. When the ballot scan control logic 76 receives a signal from the ballot status circuit 82 that one of the panels 24 has been activated by operation of one of the ballot program buttons 45, it commands the reset mechanism 124 for that panel 24 to set all of the elements 29 thereon to their actuated conditions and it looks at the next scan of that panel to determine whether all these elements 29 show an actuated condition. It then commands the reset mechanism 124 to return all of the elements 29 to their deactuated conditions and again looks at the next succeeding scan to determine whether all of the elements 29 show an deactuated condition. If any of the elements 29 do not show actuated and deactuated conditions when they should, the panel 24 is deactivated and the out-of-order light 51 for that panel 24 is turned on on the control panel 41 through the line 52.

If at any time while the voting machine is operating the power supplied thereto fails or deviates from its nominal value by some predetermined amount, the components of the control circuitry 57 may be caused to operate at conditions other than their normal operating conditions with the possibility of adverse results. Such results might be the incorrect recording ofa vote, a complete failure to record a vote, a failure to detect an incorrect vote or the incorrect operation of some other operating phase of the machine. To prevent such an occurrence a power fail detector 127 is provided in the control circuitry 55 attached to the power line 72 by a line 128 which detects substantially instantaneously such a variation of the line voltage and transmits to the ballot scan control logic 76 along line 129 a signal to that effect. Upon receipt of such a signal, the ballot scan control logic 76 allows the particular scan then in process by the address circuit 89 and the ballot select circuit 91 to be completed and then suspends all operation of the machine. At the same time the ballot scan control logic 76 records in the memory 54 all of the information as to the status of the various panels 24 as read from the ballot status circuit 82 on the line 84. Thus the machine performs no function while the power level is sufficiently far from its nominal value to allow incorrect operation of the machine, and when the power fail detector 127 informs the ballot scan control logic 76 that power has returned to a level sufficiently close to its nominal value to guarantee correct operation, scanning is restarted and the information stored in the memory 54 as to the status of the panels 24 is read therefrom to assure the panels 24 are programmed in the same way after the power failure as they were before. Power to complete the last scan and to record the status of the various panels 24 in the memory 54 after the power failure may be provided by any convenient power storage device, such as a capacitor in a voltage regulator circuit (not shown) in the preferred embodiment of the machine, and suitable indicators may be used to indicate to the election official that such a suspension of machine function is occurring.

The polls are closed at the end of a voting day by simply operating the polls open/closed" switch 43 on the control panel 41. This extinguishes the polls open" light 47 through line 75, lights the polls closed light 48 through line 74 and signals the ballot scan con trol logic 76 through line 77 to prevent any further votes received from the booths 21 from being scanned or recorded.

As indicated above, operated of the polls open/closed" switch 43 to close the polls is also recorded in the memory 54 by the ballot scan control logic 76. Since there is now recorded in the memory 54 information that the polls have been both opened and closed since it was last programmed, it is not now possi ble to reopen the polls for additional voting without reprogramming the machine and the polls closed" light, which only is illuminated when the polls have been once opened and then closed, so indicates.

With the polls closed, the printer control logic 62 will again receive a signal through the line 79 so that a print-out of the votes stored in the memory 54 may be obtained by operating the print button 44. This causes the printer control logic 62 to operate the printer 53 through line 64 to read the total vote cast at each address in all the panels 24 during the voting day from the memory 54 on line 65 and to print these totals on a tape like that shown in FIG. 8.

As can be seen from a comparison of FIGS. 7 and 8, the form of the print-out tape 130 of FIG. 8 is quite similar to that of the test print-out tape 66 of FIG. 7 with the first line 131, having the information identifying the election at the bottom and the first column 132 identifying the elements 29 on the voting panels 24 as before. Only those elements 29 which were programmed to correspond to a listed candidate by the presence of a "c" in the master program of FIG. 6 are included on this tape, however, and in the second column 133 the total vote cast for the candidate associated with the element 29 at that address is printed. In the second column 133 of the last line 134 of the print out tape 129 is printed the number of voters who have cast ballots on all of the voting panels 24 during the election.

Thus it is possible upon the closing of the polls to immediately determine the total vote cast at that precinct in a form which is readily transmitted to a central counting station. Furthermore as many printout tapes 130 as desired may be obtained by simply operating the print button 44, since the totalizer information remains in the memory 54 until erased when the machine is programmed for a new election as mentioned above.

Counting the write-in votes on the machine is simply a matter of removing the paper tapes 101 from the vari ous booths 21 and counting the names written thereon. A sample paper tape as it would appear after an election is in FIG. 13.

As before, the first line 136 of this tape is at the bottom. The space 137 between the first line 136 and the second line 138 indicates that the group of votes following the space was cast by a single voter, and it results from the advance of the paper tape 101 which occurs when a voter casts his ballot by operation of the tabulate button 36 combined with the advance which takes place each time a write-in element 29 is actuated as described above.

Each line of the tape 101 has a first column 139 which is on the marginal portion 102 of the tape on which is printed the identifying indicia assigned to the various elements 29. Opposite these indicia in the second column 141 are the names written in by the voters, The tape of FIG. 13 indicates that candidates were written in for both the elements 29 labelled 101 and 103" in the second and third lines, 138 and 142 respectively, but that the voter changed his mind in both cases and returned both of these elements 29 to their deactuated conditions, the repetition of the numbers 101" and 103, in the fourth and fifth lines, 143 and 144 respectively, resulting therefrom as described above, indicating that these votes are not to be counted. The third occurrence of the indicia 103" in the sixth line 146 indicates that the voter again actuated the element 29 associated therewith and entered a new write-in vote for this office to replace the one formerly cancelled and that this vote is to be counted. The space 147 after the sixth line 146 indicates the end of this voter's group of write-in votes.

The write-in tapes 101 may then be transmitted to the election headquarters together with the results of the tabulation thereof, if this is done at the precinct, to serve as a permanent record of the election or for tabulation or recounting in the case of a contested election.

Other provisions may also be made for recording the results of an election and for sending the totalized information directly to a central counting station. A remote sending device 148, which may take any convenient form required by the particular type of counter being used at the central counting station, may be attached to the memory 54 by a line 149 to read the totalized votes stored therein and to transmit this information directly to a counting computer at election headquarters. This could be done acoustically over commercial telephone lines. Operation of this remote sending device 148 while the polls are open may be inhibited, like operation of the printer 53, by a signal from the "polls open/closed" switch 43 on a line 151.

Another provision that can be made for recording the votes cast in a form readable by a central counting computer at election headquarters which also has the additional advantage making a permanent record of each vote cast by each voter is through the use of a tape recorder 152. This can be a totally self-contained commercial unit designed for use of cassette, cartridge or reel tape which receives its information directly from the ballot select circuit 91 on a line 153 and its operational instructions from the ballot scan control logic 76 on a line 154. it may be designed so that each time a voter operates the tabulate button 36 and the ballot scan control logic 76 prepares to record the results of its next scan of that panel 24 in the memory 54, the recorder 152 is started and the results of the scan are also read directly onto the tape from the ballot select circuit 91. The tape will thus contain a complete record of the votes cast by each voter which may be retained as a record of the election and this tape may also be transmitted to election headquarters for counting purposes.

When voting has been completed, all desired printout tapes obtained, and the information sent to a central counting place, the machine may be disassembled and transported to its storage place for the next election. The memory 54 will retain the record of the total votes cast, which may be obtained in the event of a recount by simply plugging in the totalizer 22 and operating the print button 44, until it is programmed for a new election.

We claim:

1. An electronic voting machine comprising:

a. at least one voting panel of vote casting elements which are operable by a voter between a "no vote" condition and "vote" condition, each of said conditions having distinct electrical characteristics;

b. indicia associated with each element identifying it with a predetermined vote;

c. a centralized vote totalizer operably connected to each panel, said totalizer including a memory which is programmed with a ballot ofthe vote, ballot scan control circuitry responsive to said program which controls the detection of the condition of said elements and interlock circuitry responsive to said program which prevents improper votes;

d. a scanning circuit associated with each panel and operably connected to each element of said panels and to said ballot scan control circuitry which periodically scans each element and is responsive to said electrical characteristics whereby the condition of each element is detected and reported to said totalizer wherein the condition is checked through said interlock circuitry to determine whether said condition represents a proper vote and, at the time the vote is cast, each proper vote is stored in the memory; and

e. power means for supplying electrical power at a predetermined voltage to said machine.

2. A voting machine according to claim 1 in which:

f. there is a plurality of said panels; and

g. all of the elements on one of said panels are scanned by said scanning circuit before the scanning of another of said panels is commenced.

3. A voting machine according to claim 1 in which:

f. there is a plurality of said panels;

g. all of said elements similarly positioned on each of said panels are scanned by said scanning circuit before the scanning of the elements at another position on said panels is commenced.

4. A voting machine as in claim 1 in which:

. said element includes:

i. a normally open reed switch,

ii. a source of a magnetic field adjacent said switch;and

iii. a magnetic shield positionable to shield said switch from said source in the no vote" condition of said element and removable therefrom by operation of said voter to permit said switch to be closed by said magnetic field thereby causing said element to be in its vote" condition.

. A voting machine according to claim 1 in which:

said memory stores the total number of proper votes reported at each element during an election;

and

said totalizer includes a vote counting circuit which removes said total number from said memory, increases its magnitude by one unit, and stores this new total number in said memory in response to the detecting by said scanning circuit of an additional proper vote reported at said element.

6. A voting machine as in claim Sin which:

h. said vote counting circuit is only activated in response to a signal from said voter signifying the completion of his voting.

. A voting machine according to claim 1 including:

a programmer operably connected to the totalizer for transferring data respecting the ballot of the vote into said memory.

. A voting machine according to claim 1 including:

separate notification means located on said panel and on said totalizer and responsive to said interlock circuitry for notifying the voter and an elec tion official stationed at said totalizer of an improper vote.

. A voting machine according to claim 1 including:

resetting means operable by an election official for resetting each of said elements to its no vote" condition upon the completion of voting by said voter.

ID. A voting machine according to claim 1 including:

f. power failure circuitry responsive to the voltage of said electrical power for suspending all functions of said machine and for supplying information respecting the state of said machine to said memory means for storage therein upon a predetermined variation of said power from said predetermined voltage.

it. A voting machine according to claim 1 including:

f. a printer connected to said totalizer to print out said information respecting the total number of proper votes cast at each of said elements.

12. A voting machine according to claim 1 including: f. means for opening the polls prior to an election by activating said machine and for closing the polls subsequent to an election by deactivating said machine.

13. A voting machine according to claim 12 in which:

g. said polls opening and closing means is connected to said memory to report and store therein information respecting the opening and closing of said polls; and including h. means responsive to said memory for disabling said polls opening and closing means to prevent the reopening of said polls after said polls have been opened and then closed during an election.

14. A electronic voting machine comprising: a. at least one pair of back-to-back voting booths, the

booths of each said pair having a common back wall, opposed, spaced side walls and a curtaincovered front through which a voter may enter said booth;

. a voting panel of vote casting elements which are operable by a voter between a no vote" condition and vote condition, each of said conditions having distinct electrical characteristics, mounted on said back wall of each booth;

. indicia associated with each element identifying it with a predetermined vote;

. a centralized vote totalizer operably connected to each panel, said totalizer including a memory which is programmed with a ballot of the vote, ballot scan control circuitry responsive to said program which controls the detection of the condition of said elements and interlock circuitry responsive to said program which prevents improper votes;

. a scanning circuit associated with each panel and power means for supplying electrical power at a predetermined voltage to said machine.

t t i i

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Classifications
U.S. Classification235/54.00F
International ClassificationG07C13/00
Cooperative ClassificationG07C13/00
European ClassificationG07C13/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 23, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: FILPER CORPORATION, 475 EDISON WAY, RENO, NEVADA
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:CHEMICAL BANK, A NY BANKING CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004800/0988
Effective date: 19811109
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:CHEMICAL BANK, A NY BANKING CORP.;REEL/FRAME:4800/988
Owner name: FILPER CORPORATION, 475 EDISON WAY, RENO,,NEVADA
Owner name: FILPER CORPORATION, 475 EDISON WAY, RENO,, NEVADA
Nov 19, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: CHEMICAL BANK, A NEW YORK BANKING CORP.
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FILPER CORPORATION, A CORP. OF CA;REEL/FRAME:003931/0257
Effective date: 19811109
Owner name: CHEMICAL BANK, A NEW YORK BANKING CORP., NEW YORK