Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Election Day Choices – Nov. 3, 1970

Today is Election Day 2020. Here’s hoping that you found some way of voting (by mail, using a drop box for your ballot, or even voting in person) to your liking.

Fifty years ago, we were still doing it the old-fashioned way. Remember the voting booths containing a machine with the little levers? In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s an illustration from the October 31, 1970 Journal. It shows what you saw once you stepped inside the voting booth, and closed the curtain. (Click on it for a readable view.)

The candidates and issues that the Journal supported are indicated by the levers in the ‘down’ position.

I still think this was a pretty good way of voting. You had privacy (you were behind a curtain), and the names of the candidates and the issues were organized nicely and readable. You could take your time, look over all your choices at a glance, and change your mind right up until you pulled the big lever casting your ballot and opening the curtain.

Nowadays, if you're voting in person you have less privacy. Since you’re out in the open, you can’t help but feel a little bit of pressure to hurry up. And walking your printed ballot across the room to a table where it can be scanned seems kind of a step backwards.

Ah, but that’s progress.

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