Online voting has come a long way despite many nations hesitating to venture into it. But all voting technologies generally have a long history.
Check out the following events that unfolded during the evolution of voting technology:
1856 – First official ballots, Australia
Uniform official ballots were first used in Victoria. The paper ballot was later given the name Australian Secret Ballot, and the government was responsible for the printing expenses.
The names of all the candidates are listed on the ballot papers. Later on after elections, the votes are counted manually by the use of hands.
1888 – Adopted Australia Secret Ballot, United States of America
Massachusetts became the first state in the United States to adopt the uniform official ballots that were being used in Australia.
Some parts of the country still use this method of voting. About 4 percent of voters used this system to vote during the 2012 U.S. presidential elections.
8 January 1889 – First punch cards used, United States of America
Herman Hollerith devised a way of using punch cards to compile census data. The punch card system was not used for voting.
However, it acted as the foundation of punch card voting systems that came into use in the 1960s.
19 November 1889 – First voting machine, United States of America
The first mechanical lever machine for voting was invented in 1889. The device was known as Jacob.H Myers. However, later on, it was given the name Myers Automatic Booth.
The votes are counted using a machine; therefore lowering chances of dishonesty during the counting. Likewise, the counting is done faster, and chances of over voting are reduced.
1962 – First optical scan ballots, United States of America
Optical scan ballots were first used in California. The mark-sense system development began in 1958. Orange County used the voting system for more than a decade.
1964 – First use of tally machines and punch cards, United States of America
Both punch cards and tally machines were first used in a 1964 primary election in Georgia. In November 1964, the following jurisdictions used the punch cards and tally machines systems for their presidential elections in several counties.
1965 – First Votomatic punch cards, United States of America
Joseph. P Harris and William Rouverol created the Votomatic punch card system. A voter selects the candidate of choice by punching a hole. A computerised machine then counts the votes.
1975 – First Direct Recording Electronic Voting machine, United States of America
The idea of a Direct Recording Electronic(DRE) voting was invented in 1974 by Kirby, McKay, and Ziebold. The DRE was given the name Video Voter.
However, the Video Voter was not used until 1975 when it was used in real elections in Illinois. More counties in Illinois used the system between 1976 and 1980.
1996 – First online elections for government elections, United States of America
Internet voting options were offered during the Reform Party Presidential Primary elections of the United States in 1996. This made the United States the first to use online voting for government elections.
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