Highlighted Site of the Week – This Week in History - State and Federal Communications

March 2, 2012  •  

Highlighted Site of the Week – This Week in History

Smith's petitionFor this week’s Highlighted Site, we turn to the Historical Highlights page of the United States House of Representatives’ Office of the Clerk. What I saw there rattled my ideas about electronic voting. When would you guess the first proposal was offered for electronic voting in Congress? I was way off. Take a look!

On this date in 1848, a Baltimore inventor named Francis Smith petitioned the U.S. House to adopt his “voting register,” a legislative telegraph to count the members’ votes. Smith sent a proposal and a prototype for the House to consider. Two other inventors did the same that year.

According to the site, “Despite repeated calls for modernizing the voting process, the House would not implement electronic voting until 1973.”

Other fascinating facts for this week: The giant gavel

February 28, 1860 – Representative Victor Berger of Wisconsin, the first Socialist Member of Congress

February 29, 1932 – Speaker John Nance Garner of Texas Receives a 400-Pound Gavel from his Constituents

March 1, 1945 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s final address to a Joint Session

Enjoy and have a terrific weekend!

Photos courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Continue Reading

State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.

Sort by Month