Linked by Howard Fosdick on Thu 8th Nov 2012 20:12 UTC
Editorial In the United States, state and local authorities are in charge of voting and the country uses more than a half dozen different voting technologies. As a result, the country can't guarantee that it accurately counts national votes in a timely fashion. This article discusses the problem and potential solutions to the U.S. voting dilemma.
Thread beginning with comment 541531
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Comment by M.Onty
by M.Onty on Thu 8th Nov 2012 23:26 UTC
M.Onty
Member since:
2009-10-23

The technology is irrelevant. It probably make the problem worse. The UK has exclusively paper-based, x-marks-the-candidate, hand-counted ballots and results are very seldom contested. Every candidate or their party can choose to watch the votes being counted, undermining any subsequent attempt to question the credibility.

Having a national election's voting procedure under the control of local state judges is madness. I fully understand the US attachment to decentralised power, but a federal election should come under federal control, just as a state election should come under state control.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by M.Onty
by kenji on Fri 9th Nov 2012 16:21 in reply to "Comment by M.Onty"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

Having a national election's voting procedure under the control of local state judges is madness. I fully understand the US attachment to decentralised power, but a federal election should come under federal control, just as a state election should come under state control.

That may be 'ideal' from your point of view but it would be too cumbersome and expensive to work. By that logic, County elections would also be separate as would be City elections. Would each of these elections be run independently, in different locations, at different times??? What your suggesting is breaking up elections into smaller elections possibly occurring simultaneously or maybe not. I refuse to go vote 4 times just to get through one election cycle. That is utterly asinine.

Elections are in the hands of the States and it will continue that way. You understand the attachment to decentralized power but it doesn't sound like you understand it's implementation. It's called cooperation.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by M.Onty
by spstarr on Sun 11th Nov 2012 01:56 in reply to "RE: Comment by M.Onty"
spstarr Member since:
2006-02-21

"Having a national election's voting procedure under the control of local state judges is madness. I fully understand the US attachment to decentralised power, but a federal election should come under federal control, just as a state election should come under state control.

That may be 'ideal' from your point of view but it would be too cumbersome and expensive to work. By that logic, County elections would also be separate as would be City elections. Would each of these elections be run independently, in different locations, at different times??? What your suggesting is breaking up elections into smaller elections possibly occurring simultaneously or maybe not. I refuse to go vote 4 times just to get through one election cycle. That is utterly asinine.

Elections are in the hands of the States and it will continue that way. You understand the attachment to decentralized power but it doesn't sound like you understand it's implementation. It's called cooperation.
"

That is silly, we in Canada have no problem with FEDERAL elections run by a federal agency across the country. Provincial/Municipal elections are handled by the province. Believe me, our provinces are just as strong on decentralization/jurisdiction as US states. We have stronger provinces than your states in terms of autonomy and powers.

Edited 2012-11-11 01:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by M.Onty
by tanzam75 on Fri 9th Nov 2012 16:28 in reply to "Comment by M.Onty"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

Hand-counted paper ballots are infeasible in the American system of electoral government.

A typical west coast ballot contains as many as 30 separate elections on a single piece of paper -- for county supervisor, for judge, for the port authority, for a bunch of referendums, for a bunch of initiatives, etc. Out of those 30 elections, no more than 3 are for federal offices.

East coast ballots tend to be simpler because there is less direct democracy -- judges are appointed, referendums are rare, and the initiative is not available. However, this still leaves as many as 10 elections on a single ballot.

This is why almost all areas with paper ballots nevertheless use computerized counting technology. (Optical/digital scan.) It would simply be too costly to count 30 elections by hand.

What needs fixing is not American elections -- but the American governmental structure. However, it appears highly unlikely that we'll see substantial change in the next 10 or 20 years.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by M.Onty
by Carewolf on Sat 10th Nov 2012 09:43 in reply to "RE: Comment by M.Onty"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

So why don't they give out separate ballots for separate votes?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by M.Onty
by zima on Tue 13th Nov 2012 22:53 in reply to "RE: Comment by M.Onty"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It would simply be too costly to count 30 elections by hand.

Why costly? Volunteers can do the grunt work (coming from different parties, so they check each other; but of course, virtually any citizen can participate, even just observe throughout the day).

Paper ballots and manual counting are transparent, easily graspable by all, less prone to doubt - the way electoral processes should be.

(but curious thing about west coast; and I'm still at the stage when I might move far away...)

Reply Parent Score: 2