Enter your email address to receive updates by email:

subscribe in a reader like my facebook page follow me on twitter Image Map
Podcast Message Line: 512-222-3389
Logos Catholic Bible Software

« A Little Humor For Election Day | Main | Americans Are From Mars; Romans Are From Venus »

November 07, 2006

Comments

Esau

Just yesterday, a radio station featured a special report where a Computer Science guy said that because of the electronic voting system now in place, it would be very easy for folks to manipulate the votes and suggested that the manual system (even with its problems of "hanging chads") would still be considered better over the one now and that perhaps they should have, at least, had a combination of both the manual/electronic system instead of just the electronic one.

NW

No. You don't have to vote in each race, or for each ballot proposition.

"... figuring California judges will be a bunch of kooks as a rule--I voted against all of them"

For what it's worth, any judges failing to be retained in the election would be replaced by our governor (shoo-in Schwarzenegger) with the advice and consent of our Democratic legislature. Is that what you had in mind?

Suzanne

I tried hard but couldn't find out about Oklahoma judges either, so I voted against them and even though Oklahoma in general is more conservative than California, I still don't trust the judges.

Brian John Schuettler

You did your best, Jimmy, but it sounds like the Arnold will get the last word on those judges.
Sic transit gloria mundi!

Kasia

Choked a voter...that's class. That's our system at work.

As far as I know, the election worker isn't even supposed to LOOK at the ballot. Therefore there should have been no problem. It's not the poll worker's job to review the ballot for completeness - one of my friends freaked out a poll worker today by handing it to her to put through the machine. The poll worker was afraid she'd see my friend's ballot; my friend didn't care.

As for the method of voting, I think the Canadians have the right idea: paper and pencil! No chads, no software, and you have a paper trail. Too easy!

Paul H

No. You don't have to vote in each race, or for each ballot proposition.

I sure hope that's correct, because I didn't vote in two of the local county-wide races, since we recently moved and we don't know much about the candidates. In fact, I often skip one or two races, in cases where I have been able to find out next to nothing about the candidates.

As for the judges, I searched high and low on the internet for information on the judges who were up for a yes/no retention vote on my ballot. And since I couldn't find anything (which tells me that these judges apparently didn't care to make sure that some information about them was available), I figured it's best to vote "no". My understanding is that even if the "no" votes win, the same incumbent judge can still run again for that same position -- it's just that now he would be running against a challenger rather than against a "no" option.

Brian John Schuettler

...and then there is always the option of dictatorship. Chads, schmads...at least we get to vote!

Esau

As for the method of voting, I think the Canadians have the right idea: paper and pencil! No chads, no software, and you have a paper trail. Too easy!

Kasia,
You know what's funny -- I almost got that impression from how the CS guy was rambling on in his interview. I could've sworn that he would have plainly opted for something like what you just mentioned.

Is it really like that up there in Canada, eh??? ;^)

Esau

Jimmy (and those of you in CA),
I think the MSNBC website below may be a good place to track the results as they come in for your state (or, at least, I hope it will be):

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14188225/

Snowman

You know, as a Canadian, I was just wondering why you guys don't use the ballots where you just mark an X beside the name you want, then saw Kasia's post. I can confirm that, yes indeed, that's what we use. We just had a municipal election in my city a couple weeks ago, and voted for mayor, councillors, and public or Catholic school board trustees, and it's all done by paper and pencil. The same with federal and provincial elections. We get the results pretty much as quickly as you guys get yours, even though it's done manually. Although, it might not even be manual anymore. In the recent city election, the ballot wasn't actually marking an X, it was filling in the circle beside the name, kind of like those standardized tests most of us have probably taken, so I imagine it can all be counted by computer now.

Esau

In the recent city election, the ballot wasn't actually marking an X, it was filling in the circle beside the name, kind of like those standardized tests most of us have probably taken, so I imagine it can all be counted by computer now.

Cool! It's just like we have in school -- those SCANTRON forms we use for tests!!! Good thing it's multiple choice! ;^)

Bekah S.

Yep, we have scantron voting here in my small Wisconsin town. I don't understand why it isn't more prevalent nation wide.

I'm wondering if this electronic voting will create enough of a problem to cause a ruling that the people's rights have been denied, and causing a 'do-over'. I would not be pleased if my state went with such a system.

Esau

I'm wondering if this electronic voting will create enough of a problem to cause a ruling that the people's rights have been denied, and causing a 'do-over'. I would not be pleased if my state went with such a system.

Bekah,
Not to say that it'll definitely happen, but that you could perhaps almost anticipate it.

There's already doubt being cast on the new electronic system (even before it's even used here) and how the outcome can somehow be manipulated in order to make some particular folks winners; at least, this seems to be the implied message of that news radio segment that ran yesterday here.

Though, I hope this isn't the case.

MissJean

Low-tech voting - it's not just for Canada! :)

I've used a punchcard when I lived in Metro Detroit, but now that I live in the Thumb, I'm back to using a black felt-tip pen. There are arrowheads pointing to the candidates or the write-in line; the voters merely fill in the missing part of the arrow shaft to indicate which candidate they want.

And a funny thing: I didn't have to show my ID because they match the signature - and they recognized me. Ah, the joys of smalltown life!

Brad Haas

I'm a CS guy myself, and in information security to boot. The idea of using the currently available electronic voting systems is (to borrow from Jimmy) just nuts. There's certainly a way to do electronic voting that would guarantee that everyone is able to vote and that their votes are unaltered and secret, and that only legitimate votes are made, but we don't have anything that can do that.

If Diebold somehow sold their awful systems to Nebraska, I would tell all my friends to get absentee ballots. It wouldn't stop someone from inserting screwy votes, but it would at least be better for the friends' votes' integrity and confidentiality.

Esau

I'm a CS guy myself, and in information security to boot. The idea of using the currently available electronic voting systems is (to borrow from Jimmy) just nuts. There's certainly a way to do electronic voting that would guarantee that everyone is able to vote and that their votes are unaltered and secret, and that only legitimate votes are made, but we don't have anything that can do that.

I'm hoping that something as important and as big as this (which really is an understatement considering the gravity of the situation) has the adequate audit capabilities that would ensure the integrity of such a system.


It wouldn't stop someone from inserting screwy votes, but it would at least be better for the friends' votes' integrity and confidentiality.

Good point! Even with such antiquated systems, there is the possibility of manipulation as well. But, I guess the obvious fear here is the magnitude which it can occur in the new one.

Matt

You don't have to vote in every race. Indeed, it's legal to submit a ballot that's completely blank, if you feel like making a pointless gesture.

I have a very efficient system for evaluating the philosophy of local judges...find out who the police and prosecutors have endorsed, and vote against them. :) (With federal judges, philosophy matters enough to do research about who to support. With local ones, it's sufficient to be confident they won't let the state cheat.)

David B.

With 98% of the votes counted, amendment 2 has 6,000 more "yes" votes than "No" votes. Pray!

Matt McDonald

Another thing that works well in Canadian elections is that they are run by a non-partisan government agency (Elections Canada), they aren't members of either party, who have a vested interest in the outcome, and importanty, they run elections for a living, and can develop a level of expertise.

On the other hand, it seems rare that the voters actually put the "X" in the right place, quite often they inadvertantly put it beside some apostate pro-abortion Catholic's name. Maybe it's not a good system after all.

Matt

Sarah

As a Canadian residing in the US, I can also confirm that we do it paper-and-pencil.

One difference is that absentee ballots are ALL write-in. There is an official website by the elections department with the official candidate names so you can get the spelling right. This is because our election cycle (less than 2 months from call to vote) makes it impractical to print up official ballots for each riding and send the riding's ballot to the absentee voter.

And it really is a nonpartisan agency. They list the official parties, and each candidate's party, and provide a link the the party's website for every party that gives them this information. There is no party membership associated with registering to vote (our primaries are very different).

Hand-counting may not be ideal for the US, but I have never understood why you don't require a verifiable paper trail.

The comments to this entry are closed.

January 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31