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View Diary: Your Vote in 2006 Won't Matter (With Poll) (163 comments)

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  •  Good points (none)
    but let me say that if I were an immigrant citizen-voter and faced a complex ballot question, I would probably prefer to read the question in my native language rather than try to work my way through in English. The use of English as the "official language" of the United States or of any particular state is a touchy one and one that I'm not well-qualified to speak on, because after all I'm a native non-immigrant English speaker so I don't know of all the complex issues of cultural identity, national cohesiveness, economics and subtle racism involved. There are plenty of places to research both sides of the question.

    I am not so much saying the language question is why machines should be used as saying, it's one thing machines can do that paper ballots can't. Plus, in a system like the one I describe by definition you print exactly as many ballots in any language as you need -- no more, no less -- and they're distributed exactly where they need to be.

    For my part I take advantage of Washington's absentee ballot law to vote by mail, so I don't have any problems with paper ballots per se. I will admit that there are good reasons for sticking to paper ballots all the way; I'm just saying that there are things machines can do that paper ballots can't, and before we decide to completely outlaw voting machines, we should at least determine whether we're passing up potential benefits that would make them worthwhile.

    •  How are absentee ballots counted? (none)
      By hand or by machine?

      If scanned, are they scanned by a machine/company similar to Diebold - one with a "shady" past? There is apparently a Diebold "sister company" being considered for counting absentee ballots in California.

      Are ballots counted in a secure, public setting with citizen oversight? Or by a contractor's employee who manages the machine and the count (as in Ohio)?

      Just asking. I vote absentee, too, but don't have the answers to these questions yet.

      The age of purely representative democracy is surely over. It is time the people had their say. -

      by fhcec on Sun Oct 02, 2005 at 11:49:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The counting-- (none)
        Today nearly ALL ballots are counted by electronic tabulation systems on computers at the County level.

        Paper ballots, absentees, provisionals, Optically scanned ballots...all counted digitally.

        As I stress repeatedly -- It's the COUNTING not the CASTING that contains the biggest invitations to malicious tampering.

        It's wide open and designed in a way that makes vote tampering easy, fast and extremely effective.
        I think I have shamelessly plugged my website on this topic enough for one thread (!) but I do so only to get the word out about this vital issue.  So scroll up and you'll see the link there if you'd like to learn more about how your vote is counted.

        I'd recommend the chapter on Tecnology to start.

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