JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post, Election Day
I've just simply collected a representation of sixteen patent drawings for voting machines for the decades from 1873 to a very early electronic voting apparatus in 1971. Today I simply filled out a paper ballot with a pencil, which was in turn read by the real voting tabulator.
I found very few examples for "ballot boxes" or "ballot ____" or "vote ___" anything prior to 1850; most of the patent actions seem to take place after 1875 (perhaps ignited by the very problematical "stolen" election of 1876.
I don't know if it is ironic/prophetic/problematic that the first example is by an inventor named "Doolittle".