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It is possible that before very long we shall have the old system of “ divisions ” done away with, and the votes of the Assembly accurately taken without any member having to leave his seat, and without the slightest noise. This can be effected by means of electricity, as amply demonstrated by the vote-recorder of Signor Roncelli, now being exhibited at the National Industrial Exhibition in Milan. The Signor is a member of the Italian Parliament, where-ap-paratus has been successfully tried for some lime past; and his plan enables every member to record his vote quite privately; while sitting at his desk in the House. Each person has before him a brass plate bearing his name, and furnished with three press-buttons, such as are employed to ring electric bells. These buttons are marked respectively —“ Aye,” “ No,” and “ Abstain.” They are connected electrically by wires with a voltaic battery, and a central printing apparatus which prints all the “ ayes ” in one vertical column, and the “ noes” in another, and all the “ abstains ” in a third. Each vote is recorded level with the name of the voter, and a fourth column shows the absentees. Moreover, at the moment of recording each vote, a number representing the sum total of the votes thus far is exhibited, and the House can see at a glance how the issue goes. The arrangement of seats in the House of Commons and the House of Lords is not the same as in the Italian and French Chambers, where each member occupies his own desk ; and, therefore, the British Houses do not lend themselves so readily to the introduction of this new system ; but, nevertheless, it might possibly be adapted to the existing benches.

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Bibliographic details

AN ELECTRICAL VOTE-RECORDER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 502, 26 November 1881

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AN ELECTRICAL VOTE-RECORDER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 502, 26 November 1881