12 thoughts on “November 4, 2018

    • True, the political machines had many methods of cheating and that was one of them. But with paper cheaters had to do things on a precinct by precinct basis and also to be local boys. With electronics entire states and national scores could be potentially altered with a flick of the switch from Beijing, Moscow or Tehran. @_@

      Be it noted that I am exaggerating for the sake of rhetoric, but not by very much! >_>

    • It’s not perfect, but I think it’s the best plan. If nothing else, the people understand paper, and the know those watching over it understand paper. When you go electronic, about all you can say is “our geeks are better than the hackers”. But given the regular news stories, there isn’t a lot of confidence in that.

    • A lot of people see Florida’s problems in 2000 as a big failure. But I see it as proof that the public can understand the issues with paper and have a reasonable discussion about them. Go electronic, and you’ve set out a banquet for FUD.

  1. And mail-in ballots. Oregon did away with polling places 20 years ago, and three or four other states have done so more recently, and they have far fewer problems. Yes, you can point out possible problems, but nowhere near those of paperless machines.

  2. I don’t hold with the Oregon system. I’ve had too many mailpieces fail to arrive at their destination to trust my ballot to the mail (on the two occasions in which I actually NEEDED to vote absentee, I turned in my ballot at the State Registrar’s office.

    Rituals have intrinsic value for their participants. By way of example, this morning, I expect I will be receiving Communion at two different churches, in two different denominations. Does it matter to God, whether people consume consecrated bread and wine? Probably not; it’s what’s in your mind that counts. But it matters to the participants.

    The act of showing up, BEFORE work, at my designated polling place, and casting a ballot, has meaning for me, meaning that would be diminished without that ritual.

    That said, let us remember that the mess that sparked the whole ill-considered rush to digital voting machines involved a form of paper ballot: a form of paper ballot that was poorly designed, for an ill-conceived punching machine, and extremely difficult to hand-count, and subject to probably-malicious poor graphic design, but paper nonetheless.

    What I would like to see is a digital system that (1) produces independent machine-readable and human-readable paper audit records, (2) provides each voter with an ITEMIZED receipt, and (3) allows anybody to walk into ANY polling place in the nation (or any U.S. embassy or consulate in the world), and after verifying eligibility, obtain and cast the ballot for his or her home precinct.

    I would also like to see uniform nationwide polling hours, with all polling places opening at 6:00 AM Eastern Time, and closing at 8:00 PM Hawaii/Aleutian Time, and an absolute embargo on early returns.

    And I’d like to see the number assignments for ballot measures kept secret, ESPECIALLY from the campaigns on either side of those ballot measures, UNTIL THE HARDCOPY BALLOT PAMPHLETS ARE IN THE MAIL, in order to curb the sort of ads that are designed to prejudice voters for or against a number, without saying what a given measure actually does.

    • I feel you. For me, I feel I have to show up and vote at the polling place. Seeing them accept my ballot is a personal satisfaction.

      The way I see it, electing not to vote means giving up your right to complain.

  3. Still miss the old mechanical voting machines. Unfortunately, the company that made them went out of business decades ago, because they made them too well–not enough replacement machines or parts to keep them solvent.

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