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This ESS (Electric Systems & Software) Votomatic Punch Card System was the voting method of choice for Florida's Palm Beach County polling stations during the infamous 2000 Presidential Election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Each voter was given a standard IBM data processing card and a printed paper containing ballot positions. All votes were "punched" out of the card using a stylus, after which the cards were fed into a computer for automated counting.
The unique design of the Votomatic led to a scenario known as a "hanging chad" in which the voter would fail to completely punch the paper out of the card, leaving it hanging by 1 or more corners. To further complicate matters, ballots in Florida were found to be improperly designed with some candidates positioned directly over support bars underneath the punching surface, increasing the chances of a hanging chad outcome.
Banned from voting booths across the nation after passage of the 2002 Help America Vote Act, these machines were recently rescued from long-term storage and are now ready to take a place of prominence in any historical collection. Each Votomatic will show signs of its own individual history at the hands of legions of voters. Surely an instant conversation piece for any home or office.