Election Day (extremely) Redux

So I did my bit to fend off the Visigoths today at my local polling place, and I’m afraid things don’t look good for Andy Rosenberg, challenger to Jim Moran, the incumbent possible anti-semite and generally embarrassing guy, about whom the best I can say is that he voted to stop the DEA from raiding paralyzed people who use marijuana medically. However he also got into a fight with an eight-year-old, so…

Anyway, turnout was low…really low. I suspect this works in Moran’s favor, especially if the ratio of lawn signs in my neighborhood is any indication.

This was my second opportunity to see the newfangled voting machines that Alexandria uses in operation. It was the same as last time, but I noticed that they only had a limited amount of space on the confirmation screen to show who you voted for, so I suddenly thought I was voting for “Andrew Rose” and had to go back and check.

Once again, there was no paper confirmation system. This is a sticking point for me…when something is so ill designed that they haven’t even thought of names longer than “George Bush” in their confirmation screens (they had plenty of space left over, so it wasn’t a technical limitation), I would feel a lot more comfortable if a paper trail were available to spot-check against the machine totals.

I’m all for technology, but I’m not for stupid, insecure technology(…and thankfully Apple just released a fix for their vulnerability so I’m free to get in a dig at Microsoft here).

Consider doing as I did and sign the petition in support of requiring paper trails for every electronic voting machines. Really, if they’re so good, the companies manufacturing these things have nothing to worry about.

3 thoughts on “Election Day (extremely) Redux

  1. Did you notice that this time they DID give a paper chit — but they gave it BEFORE you voted, rather than after? What the heck was the point of that, other than to add steps and confusion to the process (since the machine won’t let you vote until you enter the number on the chit using the little scroll wheel)?

    I wonder if someone didn’t say “they want paper? Here, here’s your f$#*(#ing paper.” and hope nobody noticed.

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  2. Yeah, but that chit will have no record of my vote, AFAIK. In fact the guy offered to throw it away for me after I was done–it was just a paper mnemonic for the number you have to enter. I guess that’s to ensure you don’t go to one machine, vote, then go to another machine unnoticed, vote, and so on.

    I’d feel more comfortable if that were a four-digit mixed-case alphanumeric identifier so there could be enough to prevent random guessing of valid numbers, but I suppose given the iPod-style interface, that would be impractical.

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  3. Yeah, that’s what I was getting at — it’s *impossible* for it to have a record of your vote, since they give it to you before you cast your ballot. Your explanation for the need for the number is better than any I could come up with, though.

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