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a machine that i could accept. a worms eye view. [View All]

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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-10-06 11:01 AM
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a machine that i could accept. a worms eye view.
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after serving as a judge in chicago, and seeing this stuff in real time, i can only say- what an education. now i understand why election officials shake their head and tell you there will never be a perfect election.

most of the training that we got was so centered on the damn machines, that there was almost no info on election law. this is one of the most tragic aspects of these machines. they just gum up the works something awful. we got 3 hours of training, that is just not gonna stick. of our 5 judges, 2 were virgins, 2 had worked 2 election, and the 3rd had worked 3. we had a polling place administrator, a college kid, (which was all that they recruited for this- they got paid 5 times what the judges got.) she especially did not know anything about election rules, even as they related to what she was supposed to do. like, she was not supposed to do the totals and transmission, but thought she was, and did. in both precincts.
of the 5 judges in my precinct, none of them really new half the things i know about elections from hanging around here. but since it was my first election, they didn't listen to me too much. the other precinct had 2 judges that were old hands. if i had it to do over, i would have tried to get one of them to switch. but they were there for me to consult, and get some back up on things.

each of the 2 precincts had a person of borderline intelligence. the one in mine was something else, a bible-addled bush voter. she kept saying the same thing over and over while chatting with me. we finally figured out that she was the perfect person to hand out the ballots, and give the instructions. the one in the other precinct gave them some real trouble, wandering around, and totally not understanding the process. at least all of ours were sober and clean. i think. one took several breaks to "take some medicine" and kept saying how her mom must have given her her cold, cuz her nose was running. she seemed fine, tho, and did her job. but, first of all, these people were citizens. second, there are a heck of a lot of judges needed in a place like chicago.
but ya know, it was kind of a marvel. i only had one cranky voter, the first one, who had his shorts in a twist because we were still scurrying to open at 6:02. i settled him down by telling him, sir, we are just ordinary citizens here, practically volunteers, trying to do our duty. by the third time i said it, he had his ballot, and he shut up and voted.

anyway, i know this is rambling a bit. i am still tired!

but, here is what i thought about the machines-
it's a shame they can't be trusted. i had 3 blind voters. 2 came in alone. they were pretty glad to be able to vote alone. i would be, too. i also had a little old fellow that was probably hmong. i did the best i could to help him, but he really had a hard time. a machine that could speak all the languages spoken in chicago, which i think it pretty much all of them, would enfranchise a huge number of people that probably don't vote.
what i think would be ok- these machines should just mark a paper ballot, exactly like the other paper ballots, spit it out for the voter to check, and counted along with the other paper ballots. i suppose it might be sticky if it was allowed to make a small change or 2 and print a second ballot if you wanted, but that would be a real service, too. we had many, many voters who goofed on one race, and just let it go rather than fill out another one of our huge, long ballots. those votes would have been captured if they could have pushed a couple of buttons, and spit out a corrected ballot.

i remember that there was a guy who invented a good machine, then died in a one car crash. is this what his did?
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