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How Voting Machines Work

Taking apart the various voting machines used in the U.S.

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TOUCH SCREEN

1. A smart card or security code provided by poll workers is inserted, which allows a voter to complete one ballot. 2. The voter presses on-screen buttons to select candidates. A memory card stores the choices, and the machine then marks the smart card as used and ejects it.....[ More ]

OPTICAL SCANNER

1 A voter fills in targets, usually ovals, on a paper ballot, then feeds the page into a scanner. 2. A row of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) illuminates the paper as it scrolls by. An array of sensors picks up the reflections from timing marks on the ballot's edge indicating the office being elected and from the "dark spots" indicating the voter's choices.....[ More ]

LEVER MACHINE

A voter closes a curtain, then turns a lever for each desired candidate. Pulling the arm that reopens the curtain causes counter wheels behind each turned lever to advance a notch (like an odometer) and resets the levers.....[ More ]

VOTING TECHNOLOGY

Each county selects a technology. Optical scanners and touch screens prevail.....[ More ]

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