Election Systems & Software Votomatic voting machine

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The Votomatic voting machine, manufactured by Election Systems & Software, was the technology that once dominated the US market for voting equipment is responsible for introducing the now-infamous terms hanging and dimpled chads into the election lexicon.

The Votomatic features a stylus and a paginated ballot keyed to an underlying punch card.[1]

Problems with the Votomatic were known as early as the late 60’s; Roy Saltman of the National Bureau of Standards, who called for abandoning the technology in the mid 80’s, was all but ignored.[2] It wasn’t until the election of 2000, when the Florida vote was close enough to necessitate a recount, that misaligned ballot cards and a confusing butterfly ballot design exposed the unreliability of punch card ballots.[3]

The only state still using Votomatic in 2008 was Idaho.[4]

Main article: Voting machines

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles


  1. "VOTE: Punchcard Democracy", Smithsonian National Museum of American History, 2004.
  2. A Brief Illustrated History of Voting by Douglas W. Jones, University of Iowa, Department of Computer Science, updated 2003[1]
  3. "VOTE: Florida 2000", Smithsonian National Museum of American History, 2004.
  4. "The Verifier:Votomatic", Verified Voting, accessed December 2008.