Machinery of American democracy


voting machine

Liz Wiener photo

29 November 2001 | Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies has just donated an early replica of the “votomatic” machine, above, to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Professor William Rouverol of the campus’s College of Engineering built the first machine for the late Berkeley professor of government Joseph Harris, the “father” of computerized voting. Rouverol will participate in an oral history recounting the invention of the punch card voting system in the early 1960s. Since the 2000 presidential election, the Smithsonian has acquired the votomatic and a number of other devices used to count ballots.


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