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Can't use cell phones in poll area ... because they MIGHT AFFECT VOTING MACHINES

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 12:32 PM
Original message
Can't use cell phones in poll area ... because they MIGHT AFFECT VOTING MACHINES
With all the encouragement to take video cameras, cell phones, etc. into polling areas, a few people have pointed out that they might not be allowed in some states. Sure enough, when I went to vote (southern MD), I saw a sign saying that cell phone use was prohibited. I tried to imagine what the (ostensible) reason might be, and it suddenly occurred to me that RFI from the cell phones, which is known to interfere with some electronic devices, might interefere with the voting machines.

I know of at least one instance in which a scientific experiment was ruined when RFI from a cell phone reset a microprocessor-controlled device. Cell use in airplanes is forbidden during takeoff, ascent, and landing because of fears they might affect navigational equipment. And many hospitals restrict cell phone use for fear it might affect critical equipment. So it appears that fears of problems caused by RFI should not be too quickly dismissed.

Is it a good idea to rely on machines whose proper functioning might be affected by RFI from cell phones and other RF transmitters? I haven't heard this argument raised before, but I thought it was interesting that when I asked the poll worker about the restriction, this was one of two reasons she gave me (the other being that they were 'disruptive'). If this is recognized to be a potential problem by election officials, why is it not more widely discussed?
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 12:36 PM
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1. Paper ballots are RFI-proof
*cough* *cough*
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Except when that paper ballot is scanned by the computer.
*wheez* *hack* *pitouhee*

:D

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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 01:26 PM
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3. And cause planes to fall out of the sky.
Election officials just don't want oversight, that's all.
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