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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RE: Comment by M.Onty
by tanzam75 on Fri 9th Nov 2012 16:28 UTC 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