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How does the 1898 Standard Voting Machine work?

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Then you move down to the Democratic Party line, the Republican Party line, and the Socialist Party line in which you would vote for Roosevelt. And when you're done voting, you open the curtain, the levers return to the neutral position, the curtain's now open, and it's ready for another voter and at the end of the voting, end of the day's voting, the machine would be opened in the back, the full-size machine, and the numbers would be tallied and recorded by hand.


Interview with Larry Bird, Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, May 31, 2006.

Much of the history of voting in America has been the story of the expansion and contraction of the voting rights. The invention and use of the 1898 Standard Voting Machine coincided with concern among progressive reformers about fraud and corruption in the electoral process. However, the story of progressive reform should be situated within the larger story of the struggle for voting rights among African Americans and women, and the attempt of the American polity to grapple with the question of whether the large numbers of newly arrived immigrants were fit to participate in civic life.