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View Diary: Today is the end of the electronic voting machine (372 comments)

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  •  10 years of Oregon elections (1+ / 0-)
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    have given us plenty of lessons.

    And if people want to have voting parties at their church, so what?

    In Oregon, people have voting parties all the time. It's a celebration of their civic rights and duties.

    Anything that works to get more people to participate is better.

    •  Um, this doesn't bother you? (0+ / 0-)

      What ever happened to private voting?  I thought that was supposed to be a Good Thing?

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 12:43:06 PM PST

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    •  Value of a secret ballot (4+ / 0-)

      Obviously, Kos, increasing turnout is important. And, yes, voting by mail gives you the option of taking your time, evaluating the candidates, and making really informed choices if you don't know who the people running for something obscure like Judge of Probate are. But, at the same time, I don't know if increasing turnout is a good thing if people are compelled by others to vote in a certain direction. Remember, one justification for the Australian (secret) ballot was that business owners and their cronies were keeping their eye on their employees when they went to vote and were asking to see their ballots. If they didn't vote the way the boss wanted them to and he found out, the employees were risking harassment and/or loss of their job. And in that day and age, when factory owners often had ties to local political bosses, you can imagine how biased they were.

      Similarly, I think a lot of harms like this still exist today. What about people who work for places such as HMOs or think tanks or labor unions, whose bosses have a significant ideological preference for a certain side? Think of all those families where one person is the bossy decision-maker and is neurotic about consenting to everything else anyone does. Do you think it's really productive to have a little old lady filing out a ballot while her husband is staring over her shoulder, barking commands at her? And of course, you have the problem of ministers coercing their parish into voting a certain way by demanding to see their ballots before they cast them so they can ensure that "God's candidate" got all the votes he deserved.

      I don't think proponents of a mail-in system have really given a solid argument yet as to why this is not an issue. Yes, you can compare signatures on the envelopes. Of course, the boss can still ask to see your ballot BEFORE you stick it in the envelope. This is very problematic, especially for people whose better judgments tell them to vote against their boss's or their minister's or their husband's interest.

      I think a better system would be one where anyone could freely vote over a 5-day span or something, with paper ballots that you pick up and fill out on the spot.

    •  is this the real kos? (1+ / 0-)
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      Let's just take a very simple case.  My grandmother and grandfather had a very nice go-existence their entire life.  The family was officially was Republican.  He died thinking she was voting Republican, she wasn't.  She completely disagreed with him on politics their entire life.

      With Oregon's system, how would my grandmother be able to express her right and still have marital harmony.  

      Remember, she has 3 children and has been a "home maker" for 20 years.   While she unofficially controlled the household, he pulled the purse strings.  He was the typical domineering head-of-household, not your Democratic "I respect my wife's opinion" kinda guy.  You can bet that if Oregon's voting system was the way it was done, she would have voted... Republican her entire life.  Why?  She has children, 3 of them.  She is dependent upon him for money and security.

      Let's take another example, a small town in say... Michigan... say, something way out in the boon docks.   You've got your choice of Church, you can be a Catholic or a Lutheran: but, you must go to one church or the other... either that or you and your family get labeled as "unbelievers".   Let me tell you (cuz I lived there).  Being labeled an unbeliever excommunication from society.  Want to go bowling?  forget it.   Want to buy at the local grocer? Ok, perhaps, but don't ask for any "favors".   Your children will be ridiculed in school, your wife will have a very hard time finding a job... assuming you can find one.   In short, it you either go to one of the churches, or you leave town.  

      Now, imagine you've lived there your whole life... and this new law gets put in place.   You grin and bear the "Lutheran" church because that's where you mother goes.  It is only once per week anyway, for an hour.   Not so bad.  But... now mix-in this "voting party" at the Church.  

      Oh... I didn't realize you were a Republican, Kos.   Or... are you one of those baby killers?

    •  Voting parties are good? (0+ / 0-)

      I like the idea of community civic involvement, but....I remember the first campaign I worked on in the inner circle. Nita Lowey's first. We beat the incumbent Republican DioGuardi mostly because he took a big batch of contributions that all came from a big local car dealership. Each employee contributed the maximum $1,000.00. As it was revealed, the owner had impelled them to make the contributions and reimbursed them from his own pocket. But the Lowey campaign was effective in tarring the DioGuardi campaign with this...

      Now, campaigns spend lots of money per vote, and the results are not even guaranteed. Imagine if you could guarantee the vote!!! Voting 'parties" or seminars -- or whatever you want to call them -- at the job site...or maybe, the boss's home? Not good....Maybe it works in Oregon, but Oregonians are a breed apart. It may be the future, but I'm not convinced it's an unassailably good thing...

      "We support your war of terror!" -- Borat Sagdiyev (a/k/a Sacha Baron Cohen)

      by FischFry on Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 02:53:12 PM PST

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