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NY: In Defense of Full Face Ballot (straight party voting vulnerability)

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-05 11:58 PM
Original message
NY: In Defense of Full Face Ballot (straight party voting vulnerability)
Edited on Sun Nov-27-05 12:01 AM by Wilms

New York: In Defense of the Full Face Ballot

By Howard Stanislevic

November 26, 2005

The Brennan Center for Justice of the New York University School of Law has recently opined that New York's so-called full-face ballot law, which requires all races on the ballot to be displayed within a single ballot frame, is somehow obsolete. Their primary reason for this assertion was that this ballot format makes it more expensive for vendors peddling electronic touch screen voting machines to do business in New York.

The state legislature has been accused of retaining the full-face ballot just so that local races will be on the same "front page" as federal and statewide races. In fact, a bill advocating exactly what the Brennan folks have, did not even make it out of committee last session.

But let me point out a much more important reason for the continued use of the full-face ballot: ballot and election integrity.

With the advent of touch screen voting machines, paper ballots have become vapor ballots. A voter sees ballot text on a screen which, due to programming errors or deliberate malfeasance, may have nothing to do with the actual votes recorded in the election database. Options such as straight party voting, which is illegal in 33 states yet programmable on any e-voting system, actually cause votes to be cast in multiple races on the ballot simultaneously with a single touch of the screen. At least one vendor refers to such races as "controlling races" because they control the votes cast in other races on the ballot, which the voters may never even examine.


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onthebench Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 09:51 AM
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1. Full Face is not good
An example from NY in the 2000 election. For every 100 people that voted for a presidential candidate only 25 voted for the public question located above the candidate's names. People can not see all of the ballot when faced with such a large ballot. The way to have ballot integrity is the use of the "No-Vote/Abstain" option used by the Avante Vote-Trakker. It requires voters to see each contest and make a selection before moving to the next page. You can not skip over contests unless you positively selection the "No-Vote/Abstain" button.

The reason that NY will keep the full face is that the very strong lobbying by Sequoia who has a big touch pad system (very old technology - 1980's electronics that can be tampered) is in NY. ESS also has a big touchpad system. There are states where the full ballot would require a 6 foot by 4 foot panel to show the entire contests.

What is stupid in NY is the way a candidate can be nominated by more than one party. That is very silly to see a name several times in one contest.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-05 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I hear ya. And it ain't like I want to see DRE's used.
But the advantage of Full Face is being able to notice if any "vote switching" has occured AFTER selections for a given race.

There are documented incidences with "vote switching". Full Face might help reduce that problem.

That said, Paper Ballots, Hand Counted, Now!

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philb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
2. Voters who thought they were voting straight Dem in many states lost their
vote in 2004; it didn't go for Kerry;
this was a scam as the voters did not know that their votes would not be counted for President or that it would go to Bush.

In N. & S. Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, Texas etc. those who
voted straight Dem ticket lost their vote for Pres.
Many were counted as no vote for Pres.(undercounts) but some actually
went to Bush(Texas) since he was the default Dem candidate;
and to a minor party candidate in Indiana

Its not a real election when the votes arbitraily or by design don't go to the candidate that the voters intended. Its a sham election, as occurs in some other countries with authoritarian gov'ts that control the elections.

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