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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:23 PM
Original message
Take Action: Demand Paper Ballots, Hand Counted!
http://www.votersunite.org/takeaction/handcounted.asp

Take Action: Demand Paper Ballots, Hand Counted!
We are preparing a press release announcing the groups who are calling for paper ballots and other essential election protection measures for the November 2004 election and beyond. If your group agrees with the statements below and would like to be included in the press release, please email us your endorsement.


- The "central finding" of a 2001 CalTech/MIT study was that, of all voting systems used in the United States, hand counted paper ballots have the lowest average incidence of spoiled, uncounted, and unmarked ballots.
- Errors in the software, firmware, and election-specific ballot programming of both paperless electronic voting machines (DREs) and optical scan tabulation machines have caused hundreds of election problems in recent years, including high levels of uncounted and unmarked ballots. It is unreasonable to believe that all such errors have been detected.

- Manual recounts of optical-scan ballots have overturned initial, inaccurate machine results in many such cases. It is only reasonable to believe that the outcomes of many other elections (both DRE and optical scan) have been inaccurate, and the inaccuracies were not detected.

- Computer-counting errors have a much greater potential impact than hand-counting errors.

- The electronic voting systems used in the United States, both optical scan and DRE, have severe and unresolved security and accuracy flaws that are not being remedied by election procedures.

- While we advocate the use of computers to assist people in marking their ballots, computers cannot count those ballots reliably.

Therefore, in order to protect the accuracy of our election outcomes, we demand the following:

- All ballots shall be paper ballots and hand counted.

- Every voting system using automated or electronic means of recording and/or counting votes shall provide a paper ballot whose accuracy can be verified by the voter, and that paper ballot shall be the legal ballot used for the official canvass, audit, recount, and final record.

- Ballot counts shall be done by precinct with public oversight.

- Ballot-count results shall be made public immediately at each precinct.

- Media outlets shall wait until all polling places close before reporting any election results or outcome predictions.


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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
1. Great work Carol. Voter's Unite is a great organization.
My friend and I are having an election reform meetup on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

We will hand this out at the meeting.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. I agree 1000%. What scares me, however, is that I have yet to hear...
one elected official come around to this view, at least in THIS country.

Why, it's as if they were beholden to the voting machine companies for some strange reason... :think:
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. WE MUST INSIST UPON IT.
THIS IS THE MESSAGE WE MUST CONVEY LOUD AND CLEAR.

THEY MUST ANSWER US AS TO WHY THEY CANNOT DO THIS. Their arguments about cost and time etc. are full of it. There is NO reason why there cannot be a paper trail and that paper trail is what is counted. Even with electronic tabulators, we can count the paper ballots at the precinct and print out a hard copy of the tabulated results for auditing against the count AND the pollbooks/registration records. Every pollworker, in the presence of public witnesses, can sign off on the printout and the hand count tallies. The same exact same procedure can occur at the state tabulation level. There are simply NO LEGITIMATE EXCUSES why this cannot occur.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. You saw this post...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

My sense is that they will "triumphantly" produce a requirement that all touchscreens produce a paper "receipt"(their words), but that the "receipts" will only be used for a recount.

Everything I've ever heard from politicians or read/heard in the MSM points in that direction.
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
27. That is why the count must be reconcilable.
Against the pollbooks, against the registrations.

If electronic machines are used, against the printouts--at the precinct level and again at the central tabulator level.

The machines must NOT be allowed a "manual override" which can produce extra votes. They must NOT be allowed to be "networked" or allow remote communications OF ANY KIND.

They must be checked and certified before and after they are used.

There must be AUDIT LOGS produced so that any attempts to communicate or any "extra vote" entries can be proven.
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Career Prole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. I am *SO* with you on that!
Simpler is better.
We shouldn't be sacrificing accuracy for speed. That's just plain wrong.
I agreed wholeheartedly with Thom Hartmann when he said:

"It's time that the USA - like most of the rest of the world - returns to paper ballots, counted by hand by civil servants (our employees) under the watchful eye of the party faithful. Even if it takes two weeks to count the vote, and we have to just go, until then, with the exit polls of the news agencies. It worked just fine for nearly 200 years in the USA, and it can work again.

When I lived in Germany, they took the vote the same way most of the world does - people fill in hand-marked ballots, which are hand-counted by civil servants taking a week off from their regular jobs, watched over by volunteer representatives of the political parties. It's totally clean, and easily audited. And even though it takes a week or more to count the vote (and costs nothing more than a bit of overtime pay for civil servants), the German people know the election results the night the polls close because the news media's exit polls, for two generations, have never been more than a tenth of a percent off.

We could have saved billions that have instead been handed over to ES&S, Diebold, and other private corporations."

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1104-38.htm


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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
51. that article isn't entirely correct
- There are some voting machines in Germany, especially the cities in the Rhineland have bought them
-The votes are not counted by civil servants, but by volunteers(many of whom happen to be civil servants)
-It doesn't take a week, but just about six hours.
-the exit polls are not used for the preliminary result published around midnight.
-the exit polls are not accurate by any meaning of the word, they are usually off by several percent (which means a lot in a parliamentary system).
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Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
5. You know the media won't lift a finger to support any of this
It would take away from their election night ratings if they had to wait for people to hand-count paper ballots.

I, personally, don't care if it takes a week to learn the results if it means that the count is fair and accurate. I'm just pointing out the battle we'll have on our hands with the corporate media.
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Number_6 Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Be prepared for phony election reform legislation
Some of the Rethugs on Jan. 6 sounded as if they are going to be cooperative in mulling over election reform. They admitted that elections have gone imperfectly and projected a positive attitude towards fixing it. Therefore....expect the Rethug owners of Congress to mull it over in clock-running-out mode regarding 2006, or to insert tactics such that the end product is still lacking paper trail and software which can be inspected *including on site, in the machines, on election day*.
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Beth in VT Donating Member (224 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. This is crucial - they think paper trail will solve all the problems. n/t
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is exactly what's needed. Don't quit on it no matter what!!!!
Keep working. Don't reject anybody that wants to help and keep focused on your one goal. Use every means: education, letters to the editor, pamphlets, everything. you will get stronger and stronger over time. I think you should get people marching in large numbers. As soon as people understand how urgent it is, they will start supporting it in large numbers. Many many are with you.
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Kick
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Number_6 Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
11. some of the history
I read in another thread that Hastert and DeLay have blocked the legislation that would demand a paper trail for all e-voting machines. I think it was Senator Boxer herself who stated on Jan. 6 that these proposals "never even got a hearing." I'm sure the Rethugs in Congress will continue to stonewall if they can, so let's make it very hard for them to do so. I'm sure they will react with horror and derision if anyone goes past paper trail to also suggest full hand count (because in truth who can trust a tabulation computer?) Best suggestion right now might be to try to gather a team of professors to figure out a hack-resistant voting method, even if it's to go back to paper ballots and hand count. And then try to get the Dems in Congress to force that, uniformly, across the US before 2006.
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juajen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #11
70. What about the India machines that are so accurate and foolproof?
Does anyone have any data about these machines? I believe it was Hillary Clinton that mentioned the India elections at the challenge. I would like to know what makes them so different from ours and why they are so much more accurate. Also, how much it would cost to replace ours with theirs. Why can't we outsource our voting machines? It's all the rage nowadays.
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thanatonautos Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #70
72. India indeed made them very cheaply, but there have been questions
about their reliability, as well as cases of vote
tampering.

They do not appear to be foolproof, which is no
surprise.

Indian Elections Go High-Tech During Recent Vote
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RollergirlVT Donating Member (452 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
12. this is the only way
I keep hearing people screaming for a paper trail, but that only helps IF there is a recount. It doesn't prevent elections being stolen. The only real way to have a clean election is with hand counted paper ballots.
kick
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harmonyguy Donating Member (589 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
13. My vote IS worth the paper ballot it's written on!
Without the paper ballot, my vote is worthless.

No printed 'reciept's, no paper audit 'trails', just PAPER BALLOTS!

I have to point out that advocating the use of computers for ballot marking leaves the door open a crack, for them to be used for other things.

Canada uses paper-ballot templates to assist the visually impaired in locating the place to put their mark. Works like a charm. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a machines that may or may not be required in any precinct, we spend about twenty cents additional for each time it IS required.

HG




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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
14. WTF is our fascination with machines?! My Canadian
brother votes on a paper ballot with pen for the Prime Minister and everything else. All of British Columbia does. The amazing thing is: IT WORKS! AND IT'S CHEAP!! Geeeezzzz.......
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Number_6 Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. look at who's been pushing them
The history of these voting machine companies looks pretty curious, that is the characters who started them tend to have above-average Rethug enthusiasm, and a lot of the executives have criminal records. I need to learn more about the Help America Vote Act, but I think so far that it was a little bit heavy on the "let's eliminate errors at Boards of Elections by giving them computers." I think Blackwell was a big supporter of computer rollout in Ohio since 2000.
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harmonyguy Donating Member (589 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Ahhh, but HAVA doesn't require computers....
.. it's only ONE option.

Under HAVA, equal access for the disabled must be provided "... through the use of at least one direct recording electronic voting system (DRE) or other voting system equipped for individuals with disabilities at each polling place." (my emphasis)

HAVA accessability can be accomplished through the use of Paper Ballots and Ballot Templates (20cents each).

HG


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Number_6 Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #20
28. HAVA and computers
I'm still learning about HAVA. I went to http://www.fec.gov/hava/law_ext.txt
and found Sec. 102 which provides federal funds for "replacement of punch card or lever voting machines." Likely, the thrust was to encourage replacing them with "modern technology", but if so, we need to point to the fact that the e-voting machines are not ready for prime time. Nobody can know this (that they are full of security holes) and still recommend them, unless those recommending them have ethical blind spots.
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harmonyguy Donating Member (589 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. And it's FAST too.!!!!
In this last Federal election, we counted three precincts, did ALL our paperwork, and on the way home were listening to the results on the radio, 45 minutes after the polls closed.

(Pssst - careful with mentioning British Columbia. That's where Global Election Systems set up shop, before Diebold bought them out.)

HG
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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. How many races were there on one ballot
in the election you were counting? 2? 3?

In US you can easily have 100+ races on one ballot. How long do you think it would have taken you to count that?
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harmonyguy Donating Member (589 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Valid Question. One Ballot = One Race
Up here we don't elect our dog-catchers or sherrifs, we have our elected officials hire them based on their qualifications. (not intended as a dig, I just can't resist using that one, though)

You're right, though, we only have one race on one ballot paper. I think that the most races I recall being voted on in a single day was eight.

Paper Ballots are just ONE component of your election system that needs work. The business of having so many races being voted on at the same time, plus having the campaigning lasting for so long, just complicates matters.

I'm sure that if we had 100 races on a single ballot, it would have taken us close to 100 times as long.

HG
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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. So then if the Canadian system of counting was used
in the US, it would take 300 hours (approx. 8 weeks) to count the votes.

I don't know about other people in this thread, but I don't think 8 weeks to count the votes is a "good" system.
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harmonyguy Donating Member (589 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. I doubt you'll find anyone who thinks that 8 weeks is good.....
... myself included. Even ten days would not be acceptable.

You may want to check your math on that -
45minutes * 100races / 450workingminutesperday

Simply making the change to paper ballots and hand counting without other changes in the system, will not solve all the problems. As mentioned, voting on 100 races on one ballot complicates matters. Obviously with more than one race being voted, the number and allocation of counters and scrutineers would be larger. You certainly couldn't do it with just a handful of people.

HG
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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. Sorry - I counted by your "3 hours" -
not by the (more correct) 45 minutes. But even with 45 minutes, as you said, it would be 10 days of counting, which completely unacceptable.

The reason why all the races get combined in the US is that it is very hard to bring people out to vote for a dogcatcher if there is no parallel race for a congressman or President. If you call an election for JUST a dogcatcher (or JUST a sheriff, or JUST a school board director etc) you will get a turnout of 5%, if that. That would give a HUGE influence to a tiny group of very dedicated people (of either flavor) in electing local officials. Not a very good scenario.
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thanatonautos Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 05:18 AM
Response to Reply #19
30. Simple answer: one should never put 100 races on a ballot.
Especially on one that contains a critical national
election.

This is clearly a bad idea, and it's just asking for
trouble to do so.

Who can possibly vote rationally on 100 races at a
time?

In my county in New York, we generally have no more
than 7-10 races, plus possibly one or two yes or no
issues. That's already too many, if you ask me.

Local races and issues should certainly be separated
off, and handled differently, probably at different
times.

National, major races should be done on paper ballots
which contain no other race.
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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. the rationale for having that many races on one ballot
is that it is already hard enough to get people out for one election. If you do two, three, four elections, especially with no national election "kicker", the turnout will drop to 10-20%, if that. That would make local races extremely susceptible to manipulation by small but cohesive groups, and distort them.

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harmonyguy Donating Member (589 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. In our province Federal, Provincial and Municipal elections
are all on different days.

Federal and Provincial elections are called either when the government is defeated by a vote of no-confidence, or XX number of days after their mandate expires. More often than not, just before expiry, the government will request that parlaiment BE dissolved and they start campaigning.

Municipal elections (Council members, school boards and issues) are held near or at the expiry of the local government's mandate.
I'm not positive, but I believe that the process was specifically designed to keep the number of races being voted on to a minimum.

HG

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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. What you have is a parliamentary system -
which means that your Federal or Parliament elections are not regularly spaced. In theory, parliamentary elections can happen every 6 months or so. In US, Presidential elections are every four years - there is absolutely no way for them to happen on dates other than first Tuesday in November every four years.

So in Canada, as I see it, they necessarily have to have Federal or Parliament elections separate from local ones, because the Federal ones are not regularly spaced. Not so in the US.

Question: do you know the turnout numbers for Federal vs local elections in Canada?
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harmonyguy Donating Member (589 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. Turnout rates
The last numbers I saw ranged from 26 to 53% turnout in municipal elections, with the last Federal election showing 60% of eligible voters casting ballots. Municipal election often vary depending on the 'volatility' of any particular candidate or issue.

I had forgotten that your Presidential election dates are carved in stone - how about your State elections? Are they similarly fixed? (the date that is }( )

HG

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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Yes - almost all elections dates are carved in stone
the only thing that can happen that I can think of are special elections if the office holder dies, and even then I think in most places another one is appointed by the governor in his/her place - and those elected in those will stand for election at the normal time again.
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thanatonautos Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #32
40. Better turnout or not: voting 100 races on 1 day is a bad idea.
Turnout may well be larger for local races if they are
held on the same day as national elections, but
100 races is simply too many races to decide at
once.

I don't believe that you can possibly get
rational choices out of people when you require
they make that many decisions at once,
and I believe there is quite a bit of
distortion already in local elections even
with the higher turnout, because for the
most part people know a lot less about the
local elections than they do about the
national elections ... from my own experience
that is.

If elections must be held on the same day,
then at the very least, there should be two
ballots. One with President, US Senator, US
Representative, and one with all of the local
races.

It's not as important that the local races
be counted as quickly as the others.

Anyway, it's not universally true that there
are as many as 100 races on the ballot everywhere
in the US.

Here's what it looked like where I live, in
Suffolk County, New York. The County has a
population of about 1.5 million, so it's
pretty large.

Last November, we had races for President, US Senate,
US Representative, 2 Justices of the Supreme Court,
10th judicial district, 2 County Court Judges,
1 Family Court Judge, State Senator, State
Assemblyman, and 2 local bond issues.

That's a total of 12 races, and it's already
too many.

I will wager that not more than 1 in 10 voters
had any idea whatsoever who any of the judges were
or what they are actually like. Most probably had
no more information to go on than what party lines they
appeared on: and some appeared on all party
lines. It used to be that we had a Right to Life
party here in New York, and I used that as
a veto on the judges. But that party hasn't been
drawing enough votes statewide so they don't get
a line on the ballot anymore.

Bond issues always pass here, because they are
sold as environmental issues: what they actually
amount to is the town and county issuing very
large amounts of debt in order to buy up land
around wealthy neighborhoods, thus helping to keep
their property values high. Local government around
here is about as corrupt as you could possibly
imagine. If you ask me, the local elections should
be separated off to another day, so that far more
attention could be focussed on them. However,
this is a large county, and the same may not
hold true in a small county.

Here's what appeared on the ballot for one
of the bond issues:

SHALL THE RESOLUTION ENTITLED: "Clean Water Open Space Bond
Resolution of the Town of Brookhaven, New York, adopted August
26, 2004, authorizing the issuance of $100,000,000 bonds of said
Town to finance the acquisition of interests or rights in
real property in the Town for the preservation of open space,
farmland and wildlife habitats, for purposes including but
not limited to the protection of drinking water and surface
water and the preservation of community character, at the
estimated maximum cost of $100,000,000," BE APPROVED?


Who would vote no, when it seems to be for such a good
purpose?

The numbers voting in each race were:

President: 638,661 cast out of 856,682
Senate: 586,913 Votes cast out of 856,682
US Representative: 278,209 Votes cast out of 416,809
Justice Supreme Court (2): 1,020,714 Votes cast out of 1,713,364
County Court Judge (2): 1,008,608 Votes cast out of 1,713,364
Family Court Judge: 509,191 Votes cast out of 856,682
State Senator: 128,116 Votes cast out of 195,866
State Assembly: 62,627 Votes cast out of 92,276

Issue #1: 329,778 Votes cast out of 856,682
Issue #2: 120,288 Votes cast out of 270,738

We could easily afford to wait for the results
on all but the national races, I think.

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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
42. How in the world did we start talking about 100 races on
one ballot?? At most 15 or 18 issues total. Perhaps still too many for one ballot. So separate them into national and local ballots. The point is MANY countries use paper ballots just fine. Fast. Easy. And easily COUNTABLE. Again, from my Canadian brother's experience, their ballots are collected safely, opened in public, counted not only once but TWICE on the same night, and the results posted in public.

This is NOT rocket science! Vote, collect, and count at the precinct level. Counting and recounting would take 2-3 hours, max. Geez. We're not talking about waiting days or weeks.
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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. The 100+ races on the ballot were in Ohio.
But even with 15 races - the guy from Canada said it took them 45 minutes to count one race in one precinct. So - 15 races would take 12 hours. "Counting and recounting" would take 24 hours. That is 3 days of full time work. And that is assuming pretty small precincts.

It's just arithmetic. Counting/recording a vote - let's say 5 seconds? For one race, 1000 ballots in the precinct, that's ~1.5 hours. Multiply by # of races. 15 races - 22.5 hrs. 100 races - 150 hours. Simple. Of course, you can have several teams counting etc - but you can see how it is a huge effort, especially if multiplied by hundreds of thousands of precincts. They can barely find enough precinct workers to direct voters during the election - you think they will find enough competent counters everywhere?
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thanatonautos Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. It's possible to have more counters doing the counting.
15 races: 15 counters. Then you can still do it in 45
minutes if you really insist on having all of the results
that quickly.

Having 100 races is simply crazy. IMO, of course.
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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. 15 - races, 15 counters,
plus at least 2 observers per counter (you don't want to leave the counter unobserved, and there should be an observer from each party). That's 45 people. Per precinct. Times what - a hundred thousand precincts? (Not sure the exact number but I am sure it is close to that). That would be 4.5 million people. That's impossible.
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thanatonautos Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #46
52. Get real.
First: you don't need to count all fifteen races
in 45 minutes.

Second: it's sufficient for every party that wants
to, to send one observer. It can be a precinct or
ward captain, for example. The observers don't have
to look at every last ballot, and they don't have
to watch all of the races either. Not all of the races
are equally important. If there is an objection later
on, the ballots are there, and they can be recounted
for any single race at will.

Third: if a precinct has 1,000 people in it,
and it really were absolutely required, which it is
not
, then even finding 10-15 people to count for 45 minutes
should be perfectly possible. In my precinct, not
a very large one, there are usually 3-4 poll workers
present for the whole day in a general election, as well
as a precinct judge.

So it's not impossible at all.

And you might try addressing yourself to the point that
having 100 races voted on one day is idiotic. The
ballot was likely arranged that way on purpose so
as to slow the process of voting as much as possible.



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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. Lurker: what's your point?
If you're in favor of paper ballots, find the way. Find the counters, find the method. Find the way.

If you're not in favor of paper ballots, what are you in favor of?
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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. My point is unless the elections are drastically changed -
that is, unless the total number of races is drastically reduced to at most 3-4, hand counting is completely impractical. And it cannot be reduced to 3-4 because we elect everybody - president, congressmen, judges, sheriffs, school boards, water district chairmen, bond issues, propositions, etc.

It does not matter if I am in favor or not. I, personally, am in favor of handcounting. But when it is impractical, it is impractical whether I am in favor of it or not.
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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. If your dream is secure, honest elections,
and paper ballots are the safest and most honest, then work to make that happen. Devise strategies to overcome apparent impracticallities.
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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. Sometimes impracticalities are not just
"apparent" - they are real. "Make that happen" - here is one way. Convince the voters that it is okay to wait a couple of weeks for the result of the elections.
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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. This is obviously not your project. So let those who want
to work on get to work.
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Cheswick2.0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #43
60. Are you saying Americans are just dumber than the rest of the world?
The whole rest of the world uses paper ballots and gets their votes counted quickly and honestly. People know their votes are counted and people trus that there elections are fair.

Here in the USA, we can't seem to do what the rest of the world does. Are you saying that we are just too stupid to figure out how everyone else makes it work?
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #19
57. "can easily have 100+ races on one ballot"....
I've been voting for a loooong time. Right here in the US. And I have yet to see more than 10 races on a ballot.

You pick the most extreme example from one arcane, and might I say misguided, Ohio county and you hold it up as a reason why computers MUST count votes everywhere.

Seems to me you have an ulterior motive...
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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #57
62. I did a quick search on sample ballots for 2004 election
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thanatonautos Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #62
64. The Multnomah County ballot doesn't have 116 races.
There are 2 races for US Representative and 5 races
for State Senator on the first page, and there are
15 races for State Representative on the second page.

These races don't need to be voted on in
every precinct in Multnomah county, because
they don't apply in every precinct.


This is true for many of the other races
on the ballot.

You've way overcounted the number of races
needed per precinct.




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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #64
65. Ok - did I overcount
the races on other ballots?

Do you think 26 races per ballot are handcountable?
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thanatonautos Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #65
67. I didn't check all of the sample ballots, but I wouldn't doubt that a few
precincts nationwide could end up with as
many races as 26.

Oregon is a bad example probably, since they
use a vote by mail system, for the most part,
if I'm not mistaken. In that case, it's not
as much of an issue how many races they have,
since they are clearly willing to wait for
the results.

I still suspect that 20-30 races is very much
on the high end when you really look nationally,
on a precinct by precinct basis. But various
approaches would be possible:

(1) You could split off all of the local races,
put them onto a separate ballot and count them
over a longer time, say a couple of weeks to
a month, you count only national races on
election night.

(2) You could hold the local races at various different
times.

(3) You could institute a dual system. Opti-scan
machine counted mark-sense paper ballots for
local races, if you really must have
as many as 20 of them on a ballot, and hand
counted paper ballots for the few critical
national races.

If you do go with a dual system, it goes without
saying that independent random auditing of the
opti-scan elections must be carried out, and
the legal threshholds for recounting local
races should be as low as possible.

Finally, if you choose to hold local elections
at different times: then in order to try to maintain
turnout in local elections at reasonable levels, you
can institute mandatory voting. That is: fine people
for not voting. This is probably a good idea anyway,
and the fines can be used to provide additional revenue
for running the elections.

We really don't spend enough on running our elections
in the first place ... a lot of money that goes into
buying complicate counting machines should probably
go instead into paying for a non-partisan civil service
that runs the voting.

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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #67
68. Mandatory voting - I would be very much against that
Voting is a right. A right implies possibility of not exercising it. If you make voting mandatory, you take away my right to vote and make it an obligation. I wouldn't give up my right to vote that easily.
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thanatonautos Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #68
71. I think voting is a right, but should also be a duty of citizenship.
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 02:12 AM by thanatonautos
(edited for grammar)

So I think it would be reasonable to have a small
fine for not voting, as long as it is made
extremely easy to vote by the government, and
that would, naturally be a requirement.

We have very low turnout rates in the US,
and I think that it is a problem for
the country.

No one would be required to actually mark their
ballot for anyone, of course, only to show up
and go through the process.

So in that sense, people would still have the
right not to vote.

I bet that more people would consider
exercising their right to vote if it cost
say, as much as a parking ticket to beg off.

On the whole, I think that the country would
benefit.

I'm amazed at the number of people I meet
who complain to me about what this or that
politician is doing, and then it emerges
in conversation that they don't even
bother to vote.

I think it's at least as big a problem
for the country as people parking in
the wrong parking spaces.
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Lurker321 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:21 AM
Response to Reply #71
73. As soon as you force someone to do something,
that something ceases to be a "right". Everyone has a right to free speech, but when you are forcing someone to speak, even if you don't tell them what to say, that right disappears. Everyone has the right to free movement, but when you force people to relocate, even if you don't specify where they have to go, that right is violated. Same with voting. What you propose will take away my right to vote, and I will not stand for it.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
-- C.S. Lewis
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thanatonautos Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:59 AM
Response to Reply #73
74. I wouldn't force you to vote at all, I'ld just say, if you don't want to
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 03:00 AM by thanatonautos
vote, you should be required to contribute something else
to the common good: a little money to help others who want
to vote, to do so.

The Lewis quote overstates the case a little bit,
I think.

All of us accept a thousand far more serious
tyrannies as a matter of course.

All government, all law, amounts at bottom to an
exercise of force by the majority on the individual
or upon groups.

`A modern democracy is a tyranny whose borders are
undefined; one discovers how far one can go only by
travelling in a straight line until one is stopped.'

-- Norman Mailer

But I do respect your opinion. There is also this
to consider:

`The more law, the less justice.'

-- Marcus Tullius Cicero
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #14
37. ahhh, but then big rep;ug-owned corporations don't make millions and
Edited on Sun Jan-09-05 02:24 PM by kath
millions of $$$$. There's not much profit to be made in paper ballots.

Government of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation - it's the American Way!
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:59 AM
Response to Reply #14
76. and the canadians ...
don't stand for 10 hours in the pouring rain to vote!! or 3-4 hours in the hot sun in fla to vote!!
i thought they told us these machines would make voting efficient...and acurate..baloney!
fly
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Liberty Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:49 PM
Response to Original message
15. Wonderful! DUers, let's get busy and send this everywhere!
Please help. Google "Democratic Clubs" plus your state. Start sending to the officers of each club.

Also forward to your Senator and Congressional Rep. I recommend faxes to make someone actually has to read them.

Forward to the mainstream media as well. This is very important!

:kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :7
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New Earth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
17. paper ballots? no way!!!!
then the Republicans might LOSE! :eyes:

and we can't let that happen can we.
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #17
59. LOL Faye! n/t
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Liberty Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
21. Read today's new Kerry statement--send this to him!
see this thread: Kerry made a statement AFTER the challenge in Congress that's been read into Congressional Record. He plans to introduce legislation for voting reform. If we don't want our efforts toward paper ballots to get preempted at the national level, we need to make SURE this gets into Kerry's hands!

See the letter and discussion here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

:kick:
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Amaryllis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #21
54. Yes, he is only talking about paper trails! We need the same kind of of
Edited on Mon Jan-10-05 12:43 AM by Amaryllis
campaign we used to make the Jan. 6 challenge of electors happen to make this known - millions of emails, letters and phone calls to all legislators demanding this. If we can get a challenge of the electors, then By God, we ought to be able to get this.
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Cheswick2.0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #21
61. pass Kerry up or prepare to fight with him
I am going to bet that he will not understand the need for paper ballots. A "paper trail" is a joke. Either you all who trust Kerry are going to have to convince him or you are going to have to fight him.

Paper trail...blech
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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
25. Kick
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 05:02 AM
Response to Original message
29. John Kinney--hunger strike for PAPER BALLOTS since Sept. 7!
A re-post from:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I want to bring DUers attention to this wonderful man, John Kinney, who sees our election problem very clearly, and who started a hunger strike for recovery of our right to vote--return to the paper ballot--two months before the election. In fact, his sacrifice alerted me to the importance of this issue, and, more than anything I read, prepared me emotionally for the trauma of Bush stealing the election.

After reading John's web site and communicating with him, before the election, it took me only a couple of hours to recover from election shock, and get moving on exposing the fraud and pushing to get rid of electronic voting machines. (I wrote a scenario for Michael Moore dumping Diebold machines into Boston Harbor, but I don't think it ever got to him.)

We have a lot of democracy heroes, but I think John may be our only democracy saint.

Visit his web site: http://www.hungerfordemocracy.org /

The intro:

PAPER BALLOT... MAKE SURE THEY COUNT IT!
The Freedom Fast

My name is John B. Kenney and I have been on a hunger strike since September 7th to protect our Constitutions guaranteed right to vote. I pledge to continue fasting until our vote is ensured.

Until our elected representatives or computer companies, such as Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S return our Paper Ballots and make them the primary vote, I will remain on hunger strike.

These devious computer companies, using proprietary software, literally OWN our vote!! They refuse to retrofit their electronic devices with printers. They must restore our inalienable right to vote.

In the words of one of our founding fathers, Thomas Paine, The Right to Vote is the Primary Right All other Rights are secured from it. Without this Right, we are reduced to slavery.


In the words of ALL of our founding fathers and all true Patriots, Give me Liberty, or give me Death.

I love my life. I love my country. But Ill live a free man, or perish in an attempt to reclaim our Liberty.

I am taking this drastic action because the exclusive use of electronic devices in our voting process puts the very foundation of our democracy at stake. This is a life or death or SLAVERY issue. When they own your votethey will own you.

Not only do computer voting machines malfunction and break down, they are easy to tamper with in order to produce fraudulent results. --John Kinney
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thanatonautos Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 05:22 AM
Response to Original message
31. I'm in favour!
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Number_6 Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
33. kick
Kicking this thread hopefully back to where more people will see it
who are also reading insane_cratic_gal's fine thread on "Report on HAVA and ITA".
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indigoblue Donating Member (74 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
34. kick!
We definitely need paper ballots and hand counting!

Please see:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #34
41. KICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! N/T
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rigel99 Donating Member (621 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 12:23 AM
Response to Original message
53. GREAT IDEA
These are the national rules that need to be put in Place, Dean supports forcing this nationally which is great..

I just reserved the DOMAIN NAME www.countpaperballots.com
will take me a few days to get a website up.... right now Georgia is working hard on just this issue..

your work makes our work 10 times easier.. keep up the good work and thanks for your help carolab

rigel99 .. ! : )
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Helga Scow Stern Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
55. Ireland changed its mind at the last minute and reverted to paper ballots:

"A last-minute decision prevented computerised voting being applied in Ireland for local elections last year. The computers were put away and new ballot boxes had to be bought to replace those sold off following the earlier decision to do away with paper ballots. A close shave! Obviously, what is going on over there is also of vital importance to the future of Irish democracy. We must not have computerised voting without open source code and a paper trail."

from Coilin.
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thanatonautos Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 02:09 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. Yep, and after spending 40m trying to perfect e-voting, at that.
The Irish apparently have good sense sometimes, even if
they do have bad whiskey :)
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sadiesworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 07:17 AM
Response to Original message
58. .
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euler Donating Member (515 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
63. Question....
"Therefore, in order to protect the accuracy of our election outcomes, we demand the following:"

Who are we demanding from ? Who are we targetting here ?

States control these issues.
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StephanieMarie Donating Member (642 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
66. Awesome. Sent it to KO and my local Democrats n/t
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The Flaming Red Head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
69. I agree with you. nt
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:41 AM
Response to Original message
75. Just thought I'd add this to the discussion
On March 14th 2004, Spain elected its new Parliament using the traditional ballot-papers system. Ballot boxes were beautiful transparent plastic boxes, not invisible and unverifiable memories of computers! Soon after the closing of the election the first projections showed who was the winner and the morning after the official results were available. Those results, being manually counted and checked (and verifiable again), were not only official, but even without a shadow of a doubt.
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Dee625 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 05:02 AM
Response to Original message
77. They forgot this one
"It shall be illegal to alter the ballot by any means (remarking, covering the vote with stickers, etc.) after it has been cast by the voter."

Those nice paper opti-scan ballots can still be difficult to determine the intent of the voter after the Board of Elections has finished manipulating them.
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Amaryllis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
78. See this new thread and please Kick:
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-15-05 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
79. Voting Tech Project finds hand-counted paper ballots are THE BEST
HAND-COUNTED VOTING BEST

Hand-counted paper ballots were found to be the best and most accurate way of voting, according to the Voting Technology Project conducted by political scientists at Caltech and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The Voting Technology Project compared the reliability of voting systems used nationwide from 1988 to 2000 and came to a remarkable conclusion: "The most stunning thing in our work was that hand-counted paper ballots were better than anything else," project director Stephen Ansolabehere said.

This happens to be the exact conclusion reached four years ago by The Spotlight newspaper after its seminal investigation.

The Caltech/ MIT report found that as many as six million ballots were not counted in 2000. Of 800 lever machines tested, 200 had broken meters that stopped counting once they hit 999, but touch-screen machines were even worse.

The evaluation of voting systems found that touch-screen voting systems performed worse than the mechanical lever machines, optically scanned paper ballots and hand-counted paper ballots during the 2000 election. Only punch-card machines performed worse than touch-screen systems, which raises the obvious question: Do we need expensive electronic voting machines at all?


http://americanfreepress.net/08_25_03/Concerns_Over/con ...
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