US heading for another election fiasco as reforms fail

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by toontra, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. toontra macrumors 6502

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    #1
    LINK

    I had to read this twice to believe it. It now seems probable that, even after the last debacle which probably affected the outcome of the election, most of the problems will still be unrectified by this November. And this in the world's richest democracy.
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #2
    You ain't seen nothing yet: just wait for the Iraqi elections. :eek:
     
  3. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    It's unrealistic to assume that every vote is counted in every election. A good number of votes are throw out because they are not useable.

    Over 99 per cent of elections see no debacle such as the one seen in 2000. Most of the problem with Florida was that news agencies tried to call it too early based on exit polls alone.

    Secondly, both sides in an attempt to get those normally discarded votes to count used the court system in a very public trial system. Every year a number of ballots go uncounted. This is a fact of every election, and has been a factor in every election since voting began. People just aren't aware of this because usually victory margins are greater than the number of discarded votes.

    Lastly, it is not up to the federal government to ensure that counties have the proper voting machines. Compare the number of local/county elections to the number of federal elections. I don't know about your local ballot, but mine last year had a clear majority of township/county issues on it.

    Wasn't most of the anger in the 2000 election over a poorly designed ballot? Hardly ever was the equipment brought into the picture.

    Some people are suggesting that an electronic ballot system be put in place, but electronic voting still has to come a long way.

    When faced the option of an electronic election, or an slower paper ballot system where the results are delayed for days, I would chose the paper ballot system everytime.

    While the possibility of instant results are exciting. I can't trust an electronic vote. With a paper ballot, I can hold it up and say, "This is my ballot." Something you can't do with an electronic vote.
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #4
    See the problem is it's a democracy leashed by a rather overfed and bloated bureaucracy, too many people debating on when and how to do the reforms while burning cash.

    Plus that business about the lowest bidder getting the contract. Can you say cost overruns when the system doesn't work the first several times, and you need to throw money at it to fix it.

    If we had a nice dictatorship, where our leader shot people who failed to perform in a timely manner -- more would get done and we'd have more bidders that actually deliver on time and on budget. ;)
     
  5. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Thanks for explaining a bit about the procedure & finance, and I agree about the paper ballot paper - we still do it that way here, which is not to say that there aren't problems in the UK with voter eligibility & illegible forms!

    It just seems puzzling that, after all the furore in 2000, which was widely reported (maybe mis-reported) to have been the fault of the equipment and the registration procedures, those mechanisms haven't been addressed in 4 years.
     
  6. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #6
    I've voted on punchcards as well as paper ballots. I vaguely recall an election, years ago, where electrographic pencils were used. It all seemed simple to me.

    I've also been involved in voting precinct work, including counting votes. It's absolutely amazing how people can screw up. (Vote for an entire party slate by checking that box, and then proceed to vote for individuals from the other party, for instance.)

    Just figure the odds. Texas has 254 counties. Florida has 67. Heck, Georgia is somewhere around 170. With state autonomy, and varying amounts of county autonomy in designing voting systems, how can one expect perfection? People are always gonna be people, and people screw up.

    One thing I've noticed over the last several decades: There is much less systemic corruption than there once was. It's not all gone, of course, but it's notably reduced. From what I've read about computerized voting, there's a lot more potential for more corruption to re-enter the system...

    'Rat
     
  7. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #7
    Well, I guess it worked for him last time, so why hurry? :rolleyes:
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #8
    from the article:
    this should get every american's blood boiling, regardless of party affiliation. and to think little has been done to remedy it. i hope the anger from disenfranchised florida voters translates into turnout.
     
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #9
    But it should be, and would have to ask why this isn't the overriding lesson of the 2000 election. As you say, most elections are local, but this doesn't change the fact that some counties in the US undercount votes to a much greater degree than others, and this can influence the outcome in national elections. It also violates the "one man, one vote" principle that we're supposed to hold so close to our hearts as Americans.
     
  10. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #10
    There was certainly no conflict on interest with Katherine Harris. :rolleyes:

    Also, the person in charge of elections here in Seminole County let the Republicans in to mess with the absentee votes but of course, that had nothing to do with the county having a Republican majority. In the end, it was found that she had done nothing wrong by letting them handle the absentee ballots.

    There was also the matter of people being re-directed to other facilities, which told them that they had already voted.

    The trouble is, with all the changes since then including new voting equipment, each election has been just as broken.
     
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #11
    Nah she couldn't have been promised a shot, with the full support of the GOP, at a HoR seat...
     
  12. numediaman macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Panel Recommends Scrapping Video Screen Voting

    SACRAMENTO -- California should ban the use of 15,000 touch-screen voting machines made by Diebold Election Systems from the Nov. 2 general election, an advisory panel to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley recommended Thursday.

    By an 8-0 vote, the state's Voting Systems and Procedures Panel recommended that Shelley cease the use of the machines, saying that Texas-based Diebold has performed poorly in California and its machines malfunctioned in the state's March 2 primary election, turning away many voters in San Diego County.

    The recommendation affects 15,000 Diebold touch-screen machines in San Diego, Solano, Kern and San Joaquin counties.

    Machines made by Diebold and other manufacturers in 10 other counties are unaffected, although the panel was to consider them later in the day.

    Diebold was disappointed and disagreed with the recommendation, said its marketing director, Mark Radke. The company will quickly write a report outlining its objections to Shelley, who has until April 30 to make a final decision . . .

    . . "I'm disgusted with the actions of this company," said panel member Marc Carrel, an assistant secretary of state.

    "They've been stringing us along. They've been jerking us around," he said, adding that the company has disenfranchised voters in California and undermined confidence in the new and developing technology of touch-screen voting.

    http://www.ktvu.com/politics/3031888/detail.html

    Disclosure: I am a Diebold shareholder. Their stock is doing quite well. And the CEO has has promised Bush will win -- and Bush is sure Diebold will win, too. :D
     
  13. SiliconAddict macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

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    #13
    Heh. I'm more concerned with rigged computer polling places. There are a number of states that have adopted computer voting systems that do not spit out hardcopy audits so we are at the mercy of the computer for 100% accuracy. And never mind the fact that one of the foremost providers of these voting systems is owned by a major backer of Bush and has been quoted as saying something along the lines of I will do everything possible to help you get reelected. Here's hoping that it was a slip and he meant everything "legally" possible.
     
  14. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #14
    It's almost as bad as the speaker of the state house, who calls this area home, helping to plan his new U.S. HoR district before he was elected to it.
     

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