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Onlne poll: Should ballots be publicly available (transparent) for counting after elections?

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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-11 04:28 PM
Original message
Onlne poll: Should ballots be publicly available (transparent) for counting after elections?
Edited on Mon Nov-28-11 04:29 PM by Land Shark
You can vote at www.aspentimes.com on their home page today.

Ballot "transparency" is a hot issue in Aspen CO and elsewhere in CO where election clerks are reduced to claiming that this might invade the anonymous (aka "secret") ballot. But, if THAT is the case, then the clerks' themselves are violating the statutory and often state-constitutional duty to provide anonymous or "secret" ballots, not traceable back to the person who cast them.

The #1 (though not the only one) party from whom ballots should be anonymous is the government - the election clerks - themselves. So their claimed defense of the necessity of "secrecy" is in fact a confession of their own failings.

Vote on keeping elections transparent at www.aspentimes.com (middle of page, 1/3 of the way down or so)

on edit: The poll question states: "Should ballots cast in an election be available for the public to review through the Colorado Open Records Act?"
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-11 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. Poll Should ballots cast YES 56.47%
Poll
Should ballots cast in an election be available for the public to review through the Colorado Open Records Act?
Yes.

56.47%
(48)
Not if there's any chance of identifying the voter who cast a ballot.

28.24%
(24)
No.

15.29%
(13)
85 votes
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-11 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. hell YES!
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-11 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
3. Counting ballots should be a responsibility of citizenship like jury duty.
Everyone required to take a turn.
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-11 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Many would love to do that, instead of jury duty (while others don't mind jury duty)
Agreed.

WIthout jury summonses, the right to trial by jury with a fairly randomly selected "jury of peers" would collapse into a jury of "those with agendas" of some sort. While not everyone in elections has an "agenda" per se, that's the risk when we don't "draft" random people to work in the polls like we do with juries. Summonsing poll workers would be a nice check and balance against old-time pollworkers working out "deals" with each other, which has happened on some occasions.
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mojowork_n Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-11 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. Honestly, it seems a little gimmicky
From out here in Wisconsin, the one thing I've learned is that voting is correctly described when it's referred to as a "process."

That means ALL of the duties and actions of the county clerk of elections, or whoever is in charge of the vote, have to be transparent.

And more important than what shows up at the end of the process -- whatever number of paper ballots -- is the chain of custody of those ballots, and the verifiable security on how the ballot bags were handled.

In last spring's supreme court election, we had bags and bags of ballots that were ripped, not sealed, that had all the appearance of having been 'stuffed.'

They had to be counted, because the presumption was made that "while there were 'irregularities,' no criminal or fraudulent activity could be proven.

In other words, nobody was watching the watchers, the counters, the people responsible for the integrity of the election process. Whose supervisor used to work for the 'winning' candidate, and can only be described as a Republican stalwart.

...That's not even starting to get in to the whole "electronic ballot" issue, sub-contracting the right to count votes to private firms' whose software is more important than the public's right to a fair, clean and verifiable election.

Voting in this country is a mess, and this initiative is definitely a step in the right direction, but it's only that.

Thanks for posting the link. I did link in and cast a vote. (I'm not telling how I voted. But who would care anyway? The right to have the ballot counted accurately is more important than protecting secrecy, if you ask me.)

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yourout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
6. Every ballot should be numerically sequenced, scanned, and posted online so....
everyone can recount or verify to their hearts content. Every unused ballot should also be accounted for.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Then the secret vote is out, and vote buying/selling and coercion are in.

And then there's still that computer security problem again.

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yourout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Not necessarily......I would try to come up with a way that the voter can not ....
see the ballot number. Possibly have it automatically printed upon turn in or an invisible ink that can be activated.

Either way if there is no way to verify who signed which ballot it would be ok.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. And then there's still that computer security problem.

:shrug:

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Identifiers are illegal in most places, as it enables vote selling & coercion of voter
if you set up a ballot so that it is tied to the voter, and if how a voter cast ballot can be proven
to another person, then you remove the protection of the voting booth.

Bottom line, you remove protections for the voter from those who might try to coerce their vote, buy or sell it.
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yourout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I would not want it tied to a voter and would not want the voter to see the number..
It would either be added as the vote was turned in or never visible to the voter.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 03:18 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. And what about that computer security problem?

:shrug:

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zacherystaylor Donating Member (97 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
13. It should be available, perhaps by number
The recount in the open should be a no-brainer; it should be as open as possible; if there is some concern about privacy perhaps they can give out numbers to each ballot and they can find a way of verifying it that could enable each voter to check their number but then they would have to make sure that they aren't duplicated and only the voter knows the number.

Ideally if no one had to worry about retaliation then there would be no need for secrecy; until then it should be as open as possible and voting machines shouldn't have any rights to "proprietary" secrecy that is controlled by voting machine manufacturers with political connections.
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