Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Well, it seems to have started early: Electronic Voting Machine headaches pretty much soon as the polls opened. And in what states are these troubles occurring? You'd never guess, but among others . . . Ohio & Florida. As AP reports:
Programming errors and inexperience dealing with electronic voting machines frustrated poll workers in hundreds of precincts early Tuesday, delaying voters in Indiana, Ohio and Florida and leaving some with little choice but to use paper ballots instead.
Florida's had six years to get this shit straight, and Ohio a mere two. Yet, in a world where we can drop a smart bomb accurately on a 10 foot-in-diameter target & determine whether a nation thousands of miles away possesses nuclear weaponry, we still can't get vote collection straight???

Uhhhh, scratch those examples, but the sentiment's the same. There's no excuse for this crap to be happening, and whichever party emerges victorious needs to figure it out once and for all.

That needs to be an issue in 2008.


Blogger DED said...

In CT, we still use the lever machines. And I hope it never changes.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

If only so our descendents know what the phrase pull the lever means.

I LOVE literally pulling the lever. Such a cool part of turning 18.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Dumas said...

Hey Mike, chill!! This one's in the bag. It could even be (I give it 60% chance) that the Dems get to take over the Senate, too - or split it 49/49/2.

Question is, what next? What should be the first initiatives of the new Congress?

2:30 PM  
Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

Dumas - a split in the Senate is no good, as Cheney would cast the tie breaking vote. The Dems need a majority.

NY has levers too, due mostly to the incompetance of the gov't to get new machines in place.

As for the electronic machines, even if they gave a receipt, what would that do? When the results are tabulted, are people going to call everyone else in the state to see how they voted?
I throw away ATM receipts the same day, once I enter it in my checkbook. I'm sure most would do the same with vote receipts.
The answer is the machines should not be open to the public for anyone to be able to hack them. Not links to the outside. They should be on a closed circuit.

What pisses me off is how can they have not tested the machines? How could they have not trained the people already? It's just sloppy.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Dumas said...

Dear Ed,

Even a split in the Senate sends a powerful political message vs. the Republication domination for so many years. Question: in such a case, who gets the Senate committee chairmanships? That's where the whole game is, by the way..

As for paper receits, you don't get to keep them. After you vote you drop them in a ballot box which is then sealed - it would be used to verify the machine result in case of a contested result.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Mr Furious said...

Not good enough. I want a paper slip with a code that I can take home and verify that my vote registered the way I cast it. Why not?

2:48 PM  
Blogger Mr Furious said...

Yeah, I miss the old lever/shower stall machines from back in Brooklyn. Just felt better...

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

As to the electronic voting questions, I'm with Ed & Furious. Assuming the effort here is to improve accuracy in vote counting {ahem, I seem to have something stuck in my throat, ahem}, then why not one paper receipt to put in the box, and another to bring home?

As I've said before, this creation of cynicism in the rank-and-file citizen is one of the real disgraces of the current Administration. But I don't think this electronic voting has anything to do with accuracy or fairness.

In fact, I fear that the opposite's the intent.


I love your optimism. Sorry I can't share it . . . yet. I remember sitting in a co-worker's office two years ago, listening to the early exit polls, thinking the rout was on.

The next morning, all I had was the hangover.

What should be the first initiatives of the new Congress?

I really can't speak to specifics, cause don't know. What "should be" and what will be are so far apart, it's useless for me to pontificate. My views are so far outside the mainstream. I just want to see a sense that Congress is a branch of the federal government, with duties and responsibilities it takes seriously.

who gets the Senate committee chairmanships?

That's why Lieberman won't stay Independant. He wants to be on a committee. If the GOP promises him a chair, he'll tilt right. Why wouldn't he? He serves only himself.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

shower stall machines


2:59 PM  
Blogger sheadenizen said...

I vote with one of those "touch" electronic machines and then push the big red button that says "Vote." I always wonder when I walk out....did I just vote? How the hell do I know?

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...


You mentioned "Menendez" ealier, so I assume this is Jersey you're talking about?

No receipt?

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Dumas said...

Push a red button marked "VOTE"...

This is some dystopian sci-fi reality, yes? YES???? This can't POSSIBLY be happening in the US.

I'm with Mike's wife on this. Will someone please bring back the REAL USofA?

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

All we need now is HAL "advising" the voter choices:

This election is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it . . . I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the election. And I want to help you.

3:52 PM  
Blogger sheadenizen said...

Yes, NJ and No receipt! That's why I always feel like my votes are floating in cyberspace.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I always feel like my votes are floating in cyberspace

. . . where Karl Rove and his army army of Flying Monkey grab them and distribute them, as they see fit, to contested districts all over our nation!

Ok, you caught me. I made that up.

The monkey's don't fly cause Karl broke their wings as babies.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

dumas - I agree on the message, but it does nothing to help. I'm hoping (praying?) for a Dem majority. In both houses.

Not sure on the committees.

Mike - and the Dems could offer Joe L the same deal. Who knows what will happen.
As for Lamont, my wife opined "He looks like a cartoon character" after seeing his commercial with "Joe" driving into a wall over and over again. I personally thought the Mr Smith Goes to Washington one was asinine.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

Now THIS is funny shit: From CNN.

A sheepish Gov. Mark Sanford was turned away from a South Carolina polling place Tuesday because he forgot his voter registration card.

That is funny stuff.
THe best is that he obtained a replacement card, but it seems odd that he could, since he said he left it at home and the story states
According to the South Carolina State Elections Commission's Web site, voters can obtain a duplicate registration card -- even on Election Day -- if their card is lost or stolen.

Doesn't sound like his was lost to me. Corruption I say! ;)

5:05 PM  
Blogger sheadenizen said...

Maybe Ann Coulter can get it all organized. Why should he have to vote where he lives?

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Yeah, I was reading about that earlier, Ed. I can't put my finger on it, exactly, but something just sounds . . . off in that story.

Just too many weird little elements that seem to fit together nicely to create a good "soundbite" story.

And did you pick up on that stuff about how he screwed up his eyes the other day?

5:29 PM  
Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

Mike - yeah, I saw that about his eyes. They were "red and teary". He probably watched Steel Magnolias or something.

denizen - LOL!

5:32 PM  

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