The Shoup Automatic Voting Machine, WV State Museum, Discovery Room 21
This Shoup Automatic Voting Machine was used in Kanawha County from 1950 to 1978. The gear-and-lever voting machine was marketed as the ideal voting machine technology from 1898 through the 1960s. Some of these machines were still in use through the 2000 U.S. Presidential election. These machines used a three-step voting process: first, pull the handle to close the booth's curtains; second, turn the voting levers over the names of the candidates you wished to vote for, which exposed an "X"; finally, pull the handle back to register your vote and reopen the curtains.
You can also visit American History Smithsonian Institute for more information about voting machines.
For more interesting information about the West Virginia State Museum, check out our Education Department's Teacher's Resources page.
The West Virginia State Museum Heritage newsletter highlights various activities, artifacts, culture and history that demonstrate West Virginia's deep cultural roots.