WASHINGTON—Saying the circumstances of this year’s presidential race made the upgrade necessary, election commissions throughout the country were reportedly working to install new heavy-duty voting machines this week that will allow Americans to physically take out their frustrations on the devices before casting their votes.
According to Premier Election Solutions, the manufacturer of the new Citadel electronic voting machine, each unit features an easy-to-navigate interface, keeps accurate and secure tallies of votes, and is constructed with durable Kevlar buttons, a shatter-resistant Plexiglas screen, and a reinforced titanium housing, ensuring the devices are able to endure sustained blunt force trauma from voters’ fists and elbows as well as repeated puncturing attempts from sharp objects wielded by exasperated citizens.
“These new voting machines were designed specifically with the 2016 election in mind and have been engineered to withstand everything the nation’s voters will bring at them on Election Day,” said company spokesperson Stephen Dunn, who also noted that the units’ Teflon coating makes it easy to wipe down all the sweat and saliva that will accumulate on their surface when they are being repeatedly pummeled in fits of anger. “When 18 months of disgust finally culminate inside the nation’s voting booths, these machines will be able to absorb every punch, kick, and knee drop citizens can dish out while still reliably tabulating totals for all local, state, and national races.”
“Like millions of other Americans, I know that I’ll be ready to unload my pent-up rage next Tuesday,” Dunn added. “And our machines will be ready too.”
According to Dunn, the Citadel underwent numerous revisions during testing, as a series of early designs proved incapable of withstanding voters’ increasing level of aggravation as the election progressed. Engineers are said to have quickly pulled their prototypes from preliminary field tests during the Virginia and Minnesota primaries upon learning the device’s original plastic housing was splintering to pieces following sharp headbutts from as few as three successive voters.
Additionally, internal modifications were reportedly made after Super Tuesday to more securely solder the processor and wiring into place so the unit would maintain functionality each time it was thrown to the ground by a red-faced, screaming voter and continuously kicked for 35 minutes straight.
In a later trial during the Wisconsin primary, when the Republican field had been effectively whittled down to just Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, Dunn said the design team came up with the idea to attach an aluminum baseball bat to the side of the machine with a steel cord, noting that if they didn’t provide voters with a convenient weapon, they would physically rip the unit’s legs off and beat it with those to the point of exhaustion.
“Our test models were really pushed to their physical limits during the New Jersey primary in June when it was more or less clear that the country would be left with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as its two choices for president,” said Dunn, explaining that the devices had to survive all-out, abusive barrages from every voter who entered their testing precincts in Passaic County. “Thankfully, we had incorporated military-grade armor plating into the machines by that point, which proved able to sustain everything from being repeatedly smashed up against a cinder-block gymnasium wall to being dragged up and then pushed down flights of church basement stairs several times in a row.”
“Of course, that was the night we learned we needed to make the touchscreen bulletproof, though,” Dunn continued.
According to poll workers, excitement about the new machines appears to have increased voter turnout in the general election, with early voting up by as much as 30 percent in states where the units have already been installed, forcing many polling places to institute time limits on how long voters can batter, stomp on, and bite the units in raving bouts of hysterics.
“It was nice to get in there and finally cast my ballot,” said 55-year-old Gordon Mulner, an early voter in Fredericksburg, VA, panting heavily as he wiped away the sheen of sweat from his brow with his raw, bleeding knuckles. “I had to wait in line a little while, but it was worth it. It felt good to make my voice heard.”
“I think I broke my hand,” he added.
At press time, election officials were scrambling to chain the machines to precinct walls, as it became apparent they would need to prevent voters from lugging them into the parking lot and repeatedly backing over them with their cars.