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View Diary: How to Repair the Voting System: Sec. Debra Bowen's Answer (302 comments)

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  •  Since optical/paper ballots don't require (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, Caj, elginblt, LNK

    expensive equipment to fill out, why not just expand the number of people that can fill out a ballot at the same time.

    There should also be an express line where you have to have a sample ballot already filled out. You are then given a limited amount of time to simply copy your premade decisions to the official ballot. If you go over that time, a buzzer/light goes off and your ballot will not be accepted in the express line anymore. In that case you'd have to go back to the regular line.

    •  That happened in my precinct. The early line was (10+ / 0-)

      getting "long" (several people waiting to fill out their ballots) so our precinct captain called the auditor's runner and within ten minutes we had five more booths for people and the line vanished.



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:54:33 AM PST

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      •  We have optical scan paper ballots (15+ / 0-)

        ...with a machine that scans the ballot as it is sucked into the ballot box.  

        Voting is just filling in a bubble form, at a carrel desk, and the number of people who can vote at the same time is limited only by the number of carrel desks.  If we had to handle twice the volume, we'd just have to put in some more desks.

        If you did this in a county with unpredictably high volume, you could simply have some extra folding tables and folding cardboard partitions.  And extra pens.  Voting would not be the bottleneck.

        My head says "No" but my heart says "Yes". And then my liver says "What?" and my butt's all like "Farrrrrrt" --jbou

        by Caj on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:12:16 AM PST

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        •  This is how my little township works, and even in (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          salmo, Wee Mama, trumpeter, Caj, DvCM, CaliSista

          high turnout elections like 2008 or a local land issue a year ago there's never been a wait longer than 20 minutes or so. When we moved to this area 20 years ago we used to vote at the tiny township building, but after a few years and a big building boom the polling place was moved to a big, new church down the road. Places that refuse to use larger polling places when it becomes evident that they need it are deliberately making voting more difficult than it needs to be and there should be penalties for that.

        •  We had the exact system in Columbia, MO. Fast (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama

          and easy.

          "By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell -- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed." Adolf Hitler

          by pittie70 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:11:46 AM PST

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    •  Yeah, well, maybe (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dzog

      Having worked elections for about 10-12 years now, I can tell  you MOST folks don't have their sample ballots pre-marked, so that booth would be empty most of the time.

      I must be dreaming...

      by murphy on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:18:19 AM PST

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      •  I think the point was ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CaliSista

        ... if you advertised the presence of a "fast track" line to voters ahead of time, it would result in more people filling out their sample ballots to take advantage of the express lane, and thus make for overall shorter, faster lines in practice.

        ---

        "The fundamental curse of the Republican party is its irrepressible disposition to meddle with other people's business, and impose its notions, and its will, on people who do not freely accept them." -- The New York Freeman's Journal, 1861

        by dzog on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:47:30 AM PST

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        •  Put it in the voters' guide (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jkusters, CaliSista

          Other states besides Washington have voters' guides, right? (Not snark, I figure they do but all of my experience is here in Seattle.) Advertise it prominently on its own page in the voters' guide and on the sample ballot itself.

          King County (Seattle area, where I live) usually takes out ads on the sides of busses to advertise when Election Day is and other important, quickly digested information (like when we switched to vote-by-mail a few years ago). They've done other initiatives as well - this year they had Rick Steaves do a PSA on how to cast your ballot.

          I could also see political parties or other groups sending out pre-filled sample ballots, although I'm not sure that wouldn't end up confusing a few people.

          It wouldn't take more than an election or two for even the least informed voter to catch on.

          The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains. – Paul Simon, "Train In The Distance."

          by Omir the Storyteller on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:00:01 AM PST

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