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Computers, voting machines, paper ballots - Preferences?

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by notherbob, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. notherbob

    notherbob Active Member

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    I used to favor the machines and computers because of the faster counting but due to hanging chads and other irregularities in the recent elections, I have decided to vote only on paper ballots that have to be counted in front of witnesses from both parties.

    Some old commie once said that it is not the voters who choose the winner, it is those who count the votes (and doesn't count the dimples and hanging chads, etc.) that determine the winner. Of course the modern translation is that it is not the computer user who determines what the computer does, it is the one who programs the computer. At least with paper ballots, there's a paper trail, literally even though they can be replaced by stuffed ballot boxes, or subjected to the same kind of Filtering such as disallowing votes that have any smudge outside the box, etc.

    Voting and vote counting should be clean but then politicians shouldn't be engaging in influence and accepting bribes, but they all do. Hell, if it weren't for special interests, influence peddling and bribery, no laws would get passed. Is that always a bad thing?
  2. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt °¤~Cold Eternal~¤° Staff Member

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    Not really sure to be honest. I think no matter what method you use it has it's positives and negatives.

    I think each state should have the right to decide which method they use and not be regulated by the federal government. However I still would like to see the states come to a conclusion together and decide to use one method across the country.
  3. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    In this day and age there shouldn't be any reason the whole country shouldn't be using computer voting machines. It's 2007 not 1907.
  4. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I live in New Mexico. While I understand your reasoning, I've seen just about every way possible to fix or rig elections. Doesn't matter if it's machines or Electronic, it can be fixed. No BS. I've seen it all here.

    PT Barnum had New Mexicican Voters in mind when he said, "There's a Sucker born every day."
  5. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    How would you know. You live in Utah. ;)
  6. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    When your right, your right.

    :D
  7. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Ultimately, what it comes down to is a fundamental distrust of our fellow citizens. Despite all the self-congratulatory rhetoric of politicians who praise our democratic values, it seems to me that many us feel that collectively Americans value the victory of their own party over democracy to the extent that they are willing to cheat and "fix" elections. Seems like a moral and cultural question in addition to being a technological one.
  8. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    No, this about money and power. Make no mistake, that's why it happens. IMO, it's not on the public, per say. A relatively small group of individuals typically effect elections. I don't think it's as far reaching as the American people and there desire to see there parties win at all costs IMO.
  9. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    i'd just as soon it was computer based and tied to your social security number and followed up in regular mail about your vote. if you didn't vote there should be a place to go back to and say "um...i didn't vote" so it can be looked into.

    when you register to vote, include SSN and a valid e-mail address not from a *free* (hotmail type) account.

    then again i suppose even that can be hacked and you'll wind up with some dink in china picking our president.
  10. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    E-mail is a bad idea. To easy to hack. It's also never a good idea to tie e-mail to you SSN. Just bad all the way around. You start dealing with the problem of scrubbing your old hard drives and that's an issue all it's own. Never mind keeping your own personel computer safe. Band with is also an issue. We don't currently have enough of it in this country to support our entire poplulation if accessing it at relatively the same time.
  11. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    But aren't we all complicit in allowing this system to perpetuate itself? If we really cared, we would vote for "fringe" politicians who are the only ones promising to remedy the problem or we would take to the streets like the Spanish after the Madrid bombings. We either feel powerless to change the system or are simply complacent, getting roused only when our chosen candidate fails to win the election, where we should be outraged that the wealthiest country in the world can't come up with a reliable system for elections.
  12. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    No, I would not characterise this as complicit. IMO, the system is set up to exclude the small time candidate, that's true. I might even agree that it is our own fault we have allowed this to happen but in truth, this happened long before I was ever of age to effect it any decisions. In the here and now, I am in favor of limiting WarChest politicing. I am in favor of cutting out special interest groups from being able to contribute. I do think limits should be set on how long you can be in office. I don't think it's OK to move to states and get elected after only having lived there for a short length of time. I am in favor of setting the limit for what can be spent on an election and make all candidates work with the same budget. I am in favor of making it manditory for everybody to vote, even if it's a vote of abstention.
  13. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    I hope you will vote for a candidate who includes this in their platform. Most people who see the good sense in your ideas will sheepishly vote for the candidate who they think can win but who does not have electoral reform on their agenda. In my opinion, they are complicit for not having to courage to speak out in a "losing" cause, instead they stifle their true voice and end up perpetuating a system that disempowers them. Hence, my original contention that it's as much a moral issue as a technological one. Vote your conscience, people! :D
  14. StanleySpadowski

    StanleySpadowski Active Member

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    Voter fraud has be going on in the United States since we've been voting. Kennedy pulled a great turnout from the cemeteries in Illinois to win in '60, the Philly area's reknowned for it in PA, Wisconsin's suffered from multiple bumvotes the last several cycles, there's some blackbox questions in Ohio.... it happens.

    The only way to ensure a "fair" election would be to break it into smaller "neighborhood" components. Each team of captains would be responsible for around 50 eligible voters in his area. The team would then report to a quarter precinct then up to a half precinct and they'd report to the precinct level (similar to what we have now) and so on up the food chain.

    The problem with this is that it would take days to get the final tallies and our society is all about instant gratification so it wouldn't fly. If Bush/Gore taught us anything though, it should be that the republic survived without knowing the results election night.
  15. CowboyJeff

    CowboyJeff New Member

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    I’ve said for years we need a 2-tier system for voting that includes both electronic and paper ballots (not punch cards). It could work like this: the voter votes on the paper ballot in the voting booth. His/her vote is confirmed by the computer. The computer votes are tallied immediately. The paper ballots are then counted which is a longer process (no paper ballots are discounted unless they are completely blank – there should be no errors on the paper ballots because they are confirmed and entered electronically by an independent poll worker). The voter is issued an electronic receipt with his/her voting results that he/she is required to keep. If the discrepancy between the results of the paper ballots and electronic ballots is greater than a specific percentile, the issued electronic receipts are then used as a tie-breaker.
  16. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt °¤~Cold Eternal~¤° Staff Member

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    Hmm...so are you talking like filling out the paper card. Then basically putting it into the computer like you would put a dollar bill into a coke machine. It would hold the dollar bill for you but at the same time scan the card and collect that data. Transfer that data to a database that can be counted while being coded with something that says which machine collected that information.

    From there the actually paper ballots are removed from the computer and sent to a headquarters somewhere to be backup insurance for the computer count.
  17. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    i don't mean "voting" by e-mail. you'd log into a secure site and you'd need a SSN to vote. once you voted you'd be sent a notice to e and snail mail that you did vote. if you "didn't" then let them know.

    a lot to work out but sooner or later things will change. it always does.
  18. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Electronic transfer of SSN is a bad deal, regardless IMO. Unfortunatly, pretty much anything can be hacked and then, even after the election is done, you have the problem of securing that information for pretty much forever. Thats a very big responsability. Heck, the SSA was hacked less then a year ago. That's not widely known but it happens. Pick an agency and other then classifed sites, I can show you a government owned database that has been hacked.
  19. CowboyJeff

    CowboyJeff New Member

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    kinda sorta. The filled out paper card could be hand-entered by a poll worker (not scanned like a dollar bill). The printed electronic receipt ensures the poll worker who electronically entered your paper ballot didnt cheat you (you check their work). This is just an idea I've had, but nothing is infallible. Something will always get hacked at somepoint.
  20. notherbob

    notherbob Active Member

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    In my county, in the last election, every voter was required to vote on a computer or not vote at all - there were no paper ballots at the polling places. I chose not to vote rather than to vote on a computer whose programming was suspect in my estimation. I know just enough about computers and corrupt politicians and political parties to doubt the integrity of a company that makes and programs the computers and also supports one of the political parties.

    I have figured out how to beat that, though, next election I am going to vote absentee where they have to give you a paper ballot. Others may feel OK about voting on a computer - I don't. I have no confidence at all that my votes would be counted as cast, but rather the way the computer was programmed to count them by the programmer, whatever he/she had in mind when generating the code - that's the way computers work. Who checks their work? Why, someone from the same company, of course.

    Just my opinion.

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