Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Shoup Voting Machine Corporation
. This historic document was printed by the Security-Columbian Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the company logo. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President ( Lewis Schott ) and Secretary.
Voting Machines In Louisiana
In Louisiana voting machines were first introduced in Orleans Parish in the early 40’s. The machines were the invention of Ransom Shoup who was well known in political circles in Louisiana. They were called Shoup Voting Machines. The machine was mechanical with a vertical ballot placement which allowed for 500 voting positions. The original model Shoup Voting Machines remained in service in Louisiana for more than 50 years and have only recently been replaced with state of the art electronic voting devices. Other parishes that acquired voting machines were East Baton Rouge, Calcasieu and Caddo who also bought Shoup Voting Machines.
There were two major manufacturers of mechanical voting machines in the U.S. at that time. One was Shoup Voting Machine Co. Of Gerry, New York, which already had sold equipment to several parishes. The other was The Automatic Voting Machine Corporation of Jamestown, New York that produced voting machines since 1896. Neither company could produce the numbers of machines required to fill the Louisiana order within the time specified, so the machines were ordered from both manufacturers and would be placed in whole Congressional Districts. Since Orleans, East Baton Rouge, Calcasieu and Caddo already had some Shoup Voting Machines, the congressional districts 1, 2, 4, 6 & 7 would all get Shoup Voting Machines. There were 34 parishes in these five congressional districts. The rest of the state that included congressional districts 3, 5 & 8 were slated to get the Automatic Voting Machine. Both machines had the same capacity (500 voting levers) and all the same security features as required by the Voting Machine Law of 1952. The AVM machine manufactured by Automatic Voting Machine Corporation was different only in that the ballot presentation was horizontal and mostly at eye level with the voter. Additionally, the top part of the voting machine descends into the lower case that facilitates handling when transporting from storage to precinct and back.