Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Yeah, more about voting

Just wanted to toss a couple thoughts out:

Oregon is the only State that has implemented a 100 percent vote by mail program. It is still possible to fill out your ballot on election day and drop it off at an official collection point. For those wanting that election day fever, there you go.

Oregon had record turnout. 87 Percent, I think. Wow! Compared to just about everywhere else, that's amazing. It also happened to be one of the conservative arguments against the program, when it was under consideration. They didn't want the stupid people voting... Just what the fuck do you call FOX News viewers then?

Oregon uses an optical scan system that is fairly tolerant. Just about any mark will work, all you have to do is fill in a lot of the bubble and you are good to go. Use pencil, if you might reconsider, pen if you are committed. Your choice.

Given the problem reports mounting daily, common sense evidence says 100 percent electronic voting is not what we need going forward.* It costs a lot, is complex, and clearly has enough problems to cast any election into doubt. This should be all any true Statesman needs to know.

So, what's the answer?

Optical Scan people. Optical Scan.

The important feature, of Optical Scan systems, is that the actual action of the voter is recorded by the voter and that record of that action is directly used for the final tally, leaving a trail of votes to address problems. This keeps the chain of trust tight, transparent, and voter-verified before count. No electronic system, that does not use paper to actually count the votes can meet these criteria. I'm not sure one can be built simply because of the differences between electronic records and physical ones.

I would like to hear your ideas on this however. Think I am wrong? Sell me, I really want to know!

*Despite alleged efforts to keep telltale records to a minimum, I believe we are going to find solid evidence of foul play during this election. How that evidence affects things going forward remains to be seen. I am watching with interest, and yes obvious hope... This is an interesting time, if you are into voting issues.


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