We’ve come a long way from the days of marking our votes on a slip of paper. With all the changes in technology, it’s no wonder why we are now using technology to track votes. Not only is it faster but it is definitely more convenient. In a day and age when we want to know and need to know quickly that is a huge feat. You have the entire country, maybe even the entire world, sitting around their televisions, just counting down the minutes until they are able to hear which candidate won the majority vote. Now that’s democracy at it’s finest.
Many people don’t realize exactly how people used to vote before our current use of electronic voting machines. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? The very first voters used paper ballots and tabulated these ballots, manually. In fact, the first use of paper ballots in the United States dates back to 1629 when there needed to be a pastor selected for the Salem Church. Can you imagine how time consuming this must have been for them?
There then came a punch card system, an optical scan system, and a lever system. The very first voting machines were mechanical. These machines only allowed for there to be a single vote. Later, there came a voting machine that allowed for a vote to be cast for multiple candidates in multiple categories. This was largely due to the work of a man named Alfred Gillespie who made several refinements to the original direct-recording voting system. In current day, we use the direct-recording electronic voting system which is a machine that records votes by means of an electronic display and is automatically tabulated.
Do you think that with all of this technology it is causing us to be lax in our choices, even spilling over into our voting? Or do you think it is helping us in some way?
I believe that having access to the kind of technology that we have access to is a big help. Especially in my personal life, I have noticed that the Internet helps me to keep up with the candidates a lot better than I have ever been able to before. In this election season alone, I have found myself looking up things about each of the candidates and this has greatly helped me to make a better voting decision. With the busyness of life, I do not always have time to sit down in front of the television to watch a debate or see a commercial on who is running for a certain office, in my district, and it is in this way that the Internet and YouTube are a big help.
My voting experience has greatly changed since I was 18-years old. At that time, it was pretty typical of me to just mark anyone without having much knowledge of the candidates or even having a real reason for voting for the person that I chose. And while I am not that gung-ho on any of the candidates this time around, I do take pride in knowing more about the issues, the candidates and having a reason for voting for who I did.
What about you? How is your voting experience different from when you were younger and first eligible to vote? Have you been doing anything differently in respect to how you vote now as opposed to then? Do you take more pride in your vote now than you did before?
If you haven’t already, be sure to get out and cast your vote. Don’t know if you’re registered to vote, find out here. No matter what everyone else says…your vote DOES count! Let your voice be heard. Happy Voting!