Amid all the problems that have been solved with advances in technology, the simple act of tallying votes is still an arduous task in America.
The mess of the American voting system is partly due to the fact that the Constitution gives states the job of running elections, resulting in an inconsistent, mismatched system patching together paper slips, manual punch cards, mechanical tallies, and advanced electronics like touch screens.
Here, one of the most basic forms of voting, a simple card known as the Australian Ballot is seen from an 1893 Iowa City municipal election. New York became the first U.S. state to officially adopt the paper ballot for statewide elections in 1889.
Like democracy, voting itself is still a work in progress. Here is a short history of how we vote and the methods used to tally the will of the people, including some real time photos from this Election Day.
November 6, 2012 7:19 AM PST
Photo by: Special Collections Department of the Iowa State Historical Society Library