Voting is pretty simple on its face. Cast the ballots, count 'em up, tell everybody who the President is. But we who have been living through this presidential race for what seems like our entire lives know it is way more complicated than that. There are horses, bayonets, confusion about the function of a uterus and more.
Popular Science's archives reveal that yes, it has always been this agonizing. The invention of radio brought candidates an exciting new way to get their zingers to voters. We were saved from election fraud by voting machines, but then we worried electronic voting machines might bring it back. And don't even get us started on the electoral college. (Seriously, don't. We didn't write about it.)
If you've had quite enough of this election, maybe you'd care to lose yourself in the technology of elections past. If so, peruse the above archive gallery to get a look at the guts of a voting machine and a look behind the curtain at how votes are counted and how those polls actually work.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.