Where else to look for history? Ebay!

Chris B. of EGovernment Consulting sends along this very helpful response.

First, he reminded me of Roy Saltman’s book, The History and Politics of Voting Technology. My apologies to Roy for forgetting that source–the book is on my shelf back home, and I second Chris’s recommendation.

Second, the Smithsonian does, in fact, have an online historical website, “Vote: The Machinery of Democracy,” but Chris didn’t know if the institution also has an actual exhibit. If you peruse the “Press” section of the site, you’ll see references to specific machines that they collected. A great website, one that should be valuable for K-12 and college instructors, as well as other interested folk. It’s going on my elections syllabus for next semester.

Finally, there is the new repository of all things: Ebay! An ebay search for “voting machines” turns up just what I wanted for my office: a 1940s vintage lever voting machines. It “only” weighs 650 pounds and can be picked up locally in Lebanon, PA. It just so happens that I am vacationing near there! I wonder whether this counts as an extra piece of luggage …

You can also find a Votomatic III–just the gift for your favorite Berkeley professor–and some quite reasonably priced turnout posters and advertisements for voting machines from the early 20th Century. I owe Mike for some favors this year. Maybe one of these for his office?