It seems strangely hushed in the ChallCom bunker’s main machine hall. Once home of the mighty Votalyzer ™ the chamber echoed to the hiss of steam , the thunder of pistons and the whirring and clacking of gears, pawls and ratchets. Men in blue boilersuits and their white lab-coated supervisors scurried about, making an adjustment here, making an observation and a note there, checking bearings and gearing for overheating or misalignment.
The atmosphere was a heady mix of humidity, heat and the pungent , sharp smell of Gunderson’s Patent Number 3 Heavyweight Machine Oil. Now all the bustle is gone, the floor no longer vibrating as the machine ran up to full speed.
The vast space has been cleared of the wreckage. Walls and ceilings have been repaired and replastered, then painted in a cheerful off-white. And nestling in a corner is our newly installed, compact all-transistor, solid state DigiPoll, a marvel of miniaturization that has just finished its first live production run.
Previously a team of sweating engineers would have had to pull the plate from the Votalyzer ™, fettled and polished it then carefully installed and aligned it on the lithographic press so that a proof could be pulled and, still wet, scanned then, following adjudicator approval, released to the competition co=ordinators so that the result of the vote might be promulgated.
Tonight one person (see picture above) is able to view the poll result, check its validity and broadcast itto the waiting nation.
And the historic first result from the DigiPoll, the subject of the Reason to Fly (RTF) competition from June 5th to June 18th is ,