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Reply #1: No matter what system, elections are only as trustworthy as the poll workers administering them. [View All]

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LAGC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-23-10 03:20 AM
Response to Original message
1. No matter what system, elections are only as trustworthy as the poll workers administering them.
Edited on Mon Aug-23-10 03:25 AM by LAGC
Last time I was working as a poll worker at a local precinct during the Idaho May primaries, we spent a good portion of our idle-time pondering just how "easy" it would be for unethical poll workers to commit election fraud by stuffing the ballot boxes and faking signatures of registered voters. Since the ballots are anonymous, there's no way to verify which ones belongs to whom, and even if you had some way of doing so, presumably those who didn't bother to vote wouldn't check to notice their name being used. All you would need is just four like-minded poll workers who agreed on politics (and who weren't afraid of the potential legal consequences if they were caught!) to conspire to game the system. Really, it was quite scary when we thought about it. For while we were all ethical and trustworthy, it wouldn't be hard to imagine four determined conspirators managing to get assigned to the same precinct together. Really, to help minimize the potential for abuse, I think all poll workers should have to be chosen at random from the population just like they are for jury duty, instead of how it works now: an all-volunteer force that leaves itself more vulnerable to such a conspiracy and potential fraud being perpetrated.

But even with an electronic/Internet voting scheme at polling places, you'd still have this problem. A few unethical poll workers could really go hogwild submitting dozens of electronic ballots, potentially changing the outcome of a race. The only way anyone would know is if "voter turnout" was unexpectedly higher at certain precincts, but that's not proof, just suspicion. As it is now, we just have to hope that the fear of someone with loose lips bragging about it or informing on the other conspirators would be enough to keep people honest.
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