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.
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in australia
by unclefester on Fri 9th Nov 2012 05:00 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

In Australia we put a number next to the candidates name using a pencil. The paper is then dropped in a sealed box. Elections are always held on a Saturday. It takes no more than five minutes to vote. Ballot papers are counted by government officals and candidates (or their representatives) can view the actual counting process.

How simple is that?

Reply Score: 2

RE: in australia
by gld59 on Fri 9th Nov 2012 07:51 in reply to "in australia"
gld59 Member since:
2012-11-09

It can take more than five minutes if you number every square below the line on the paper for the upper house. (Ok - who just said I'm a cranky old git?)

I know this is not strictly relevant to a comparison with one type of US election, but some informal (invalid) votes in Australian elections would be due to slight differences between federal, state and local elections (mainly differences in how many candidates must be numbered on the voting paper).

However the basic "structure" is almost identical even between the different types of election, voter numbers (and the required infrastructure) are predictable and consistent, results are known quickly, and once any recounts are complete, the results are accepted (in an electoral if not political sense).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: in australia
by tanzam75 on Fri 9th Nov 2012 16:49 in reply to "RE: in australia"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

It is very simple -- but that's because Australian elections are simple.

American elections are complex, and therefore American election technology is also complex.

Just as an example, the ballot for district 1 in King County, Washington has 32 separate questions on the ballot, with a total of 65 candidates/options, plus the option to write-in a candidate as a protest.

Here, have a look at the ballot (PDF): http://your.kingcounty.gov/elections/2012nov-general/docs/leg1sampl...

Edited 2012-11-09 17:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: in australia
by panzi on Sat 10th Nov 2012 02:01 in reply to "in australia"
panzi Member since:
2006-01-22

In Australia we put a number next to the candidates name using a pencil. The paper is then dropped in a sealed box. Elections are always held on a Saturday. It takes no more than five minutes to vote. Ballot papers are counted by government officals and candidates (or their representatives) can view the actual counting process.

How simple is that?


It's not just simple, it is also secure (if there are representatives of all parties viewing the counting process and better use a ball-pen or something else that is not erasable). And everyone (not just computer experts) can understand how it works and why it is secure. It can be recounted. There is no simple large scale undetectable manipulation through statistical fraud algorithms possible. No expensive computer hardware that needs expensive care. If it takes a bit longer to get the count, that is a cheap prize for democracy.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: in australia
by kwan_e on Sat 10th Nov 2012 12:06 in reply to "RE: in australia"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"In Australia we put a number next to the candidates name using a pencil. The paper is then dropped in a sealed box. Elections are always held on a Saturday. It takes no more than five minutes to vote. Ballot papers are counted by government officals and candidates (or their representatives) can view the actual counting process.

How simple is that?


It's not just simple, it is also secure (if there are representatives of all parties viewing the counting process and better use a ball-pen or something else that is not erasable). And everyone (not just computer experts) can understand how it works and why it is secure. It can be recounted. There is no simple large scale undetectable manipulation through statistical fraud algorithms possible. No expensive computer hardware that needs expensive care. If it takes a bit longer to get the count, that is a cheap prize for democracy.
"

Not only that, but the ballot paper gets recycled and turned into toilet paper, so we Australians get an extra chance to show the pollies what we really think of them.

Reply Parent Score: 2