This ballot box is actually a drum machine of political samples

The US elections are becoming almost unbearable to live through, so artist/professor Mike Richison decided to transform this vintage voting machine into a beat maker.

Using an old hole-punch Votomatic voting machine Mike Richison has created a drum machine that uses samples from the 2016 elections run up to create unique rhythms. Richison created  ‘Video Voto Matic’ as an art project, following other presidential-themed video art that he creates every four years from clips and sound bites during the U.S. elections.

The Video Voto Matic retains the look and feel of it’s original voting machine however you can choose between samples of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, President Barack Obama and others to create a beat rather than the difficult choice of electing a president.

Beats are created using a custom paper ballot which you can input your beat onto with a stylus and produce beats by punching holes in the various drum sound choices. The samples are taken from political talks using small sounds from the speaker like “t” and “s” sounds to create plosives that can be used in beats.

Richison has taken his Video Voto Matic machines to various American cities, including exhibitions in New York and Washington D.C.. It’s most recent demonstration was on 14th Street in New York for the Art in Off Places public art festival.

For more information on the project and any other work by Mike Richison you can visit his website at:

Writing about music, listening to music, and occasionally playing music.

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