Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/596

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��Machine for Congress

���Above : How the two large regis- tering boards of the mechanical voting system would look if f he V were installed in the House of Represen- /— < ' tatives

��FOR nearly a ci-iUury, iiuciitors, siiiirred on by the deplorable roll-call system in use, have devised instru- ments of one sort or another to enable Con- gress to register its vote in a few minutes instead of in the forty to forty-fne min- utes which are consumed l)y the roll-call. In each case it has been conchisixcK' proven that a mechanical s>'stein of voling would not only greatly economize time, but would alst) effect a large saving in money. And yet, there is no mechani- cal voting system in use. If there was it woulfl kill filibustering on \otes.

During a long si-ssion of Congress a iiialhemalician ligmi'd that lift\'-six da\s had been {'oiisMincd in roll-calls alone. A voting machine, which is now being considered, has taken ninety thousand roll-calls. It would gi\e Congress two

��At left: The mechanical voter reduced to a de- monstrable size with batteries and connections for a committee exami- nation. It is really a form of telegraph with many key- boards

��umdreil \ears' work to call the roll that many times. The inventor, Bornctt L. BobrolT, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has installed his .system in the State Legislature of Wisconsin, and it is giving excellent service there. In a single session of Congress he .siys he can lop off thirty da>s' work by calling the roll with his machine.

ICach member \'otes by pressing a button on the desk in front of him. He and everybody else can see how he voted, as his vote duplicates itself on a large board within the \-iew of all. The bo.ud also totals the \ote automatii'ally. In the e\ent that a member wishes to <hange his xote he merely presses another but ton pn)\ided for that purfK>se and the total of "" .ind "na\s" is accordingly lorrected on ilu bo.u'd.


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