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Reply #21: Wilms' point about the "Me Generation" is intertesting. [View All]

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-09 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Wilms' point about the "Me Generation" is intertesting.
Edited on Mon Feb-23-09 02:34 PM by Bill Bored
While he may be somewhat abrasive in the way he expresses it, the debate for many seems to be about the recording of "my vote" rather than the assurance that the collective will of the People is reflected in the electoral outcome. This is dangerous.

The reasons that levers are transparent should be, well, transparent and quite obvious. You can see how the votes will be counted before the election by testing the machines, reading the patents (which show in painstaking detail EXACTLY how they work) and by observing the mechanism first hand. Software can't begin to approach this, esp. when it involves operating systems, other COTS stuff, and the voting system software which is COMPILED code that makes source code review a relatively futile, but time-consuming and expansive exercise.

BTW, no one I know of is claiming that lever machines are PERFECT, or that any other voting system is either.

If being able to see how the votes will be counted isn't good enough because there is no post-vote-casting record of an individual vote, then it is incumbent on those who insist on such records to show how THEY will be counted. And so far, no one has been able to do that.

In fact, with the exception of some (but not all) elections that are too close to call -- even with 100% post-election hand counts -- such records, called "ballots", are almost never counted after the election. And when they are counted, they are NOT counted in quantities sufficient to reveal discrepancies that could change the electoral outcome. Not to mention the chain of custody problem.

Given NY's piss poor audit and recount laws, and lack of experience handling vast numbers of paper ballots, which went out with the horse and buggy, it's not a good idea to replace lever machines with computers. Not that there's ANYTHING wrong with paper ballots of course. But I strongly doubt that NYers will be willing to handle them properly after 100 years of depending on simple mechanical counting devices that have obviated the need to do so in large numbers. They will simply trust the computers, and that's not an acceptable replacement for lever machines.

I think it's fair to say that NYVV's attitude about this is typical of many uninformed folks in the movement. I.e., if we have a voter-marked paper ballot, everything will be fine because it provides "voter verification."

But election verification i.e., determining the will of the People, is a whole 'nother ballgame.
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