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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 03:56 PM
Original message
optional open balloting?!?!
we have occasionally bemoaned the fact that none of the shenanigans that we are seeing would be possible without the secret ballot. it occurred to me today that instead of parallel elections, as have sometimes been proposed, we could instead stage an open election at as many poling places as possible. what do i mean by that? my back of the envelope sketch of this is that people would be allowed to declare, in writing, in the open, by signature, their choice for the 2, 3, or 4 top of the ticket races. i have in mind a large roll of paper, divided into columns, where you can sign your name, and address, in the appropriate column for the candidate of your choice. witnesses would also sign. no one would be coerced, just invited to declare their votes.
now, this would not be able to substitute for a clean election, or give comprehensive results. but, it would give a "floor" to vote counts (and voter counts). any total that did not at least equal the open count is surely wrong.
and it is certainly 100% verifiable.
and it sure the hell makes a statement about the state of our franchise. and it's cheap.
discuss.
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. Bad idea. Bad. Bad. Bad.
Edited on Tue May-09-06 04:07 PM by Burning Water
It would not only not correct the current deficiencies, it would increase them.

Without a secret ballot, what is to prevent politically powerful people from pressuring people to vote a certain way,and then knowing if they did it.

The secret ballot is one of the most progressive ideas to come along in millenia. Let's not just give it away.

EDIT: Sorry, I misread what you said. But it's still a bad idea. There is no way that both, or all, parties, would declare in statistically even numbers, what their votes were.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. optional, the word is optional
nobody has to do it. those who don't want to, don't. but those of us who are tired of our votes evaporating can write them in permanent ink. big as john hancock. i sure would.
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. OK, but then, what good
is it. It says you voted for Hilary, or whoever, but it says not one thing about the rest of the votes, all of which could have gone for Jeb Bush.

Still, at least it's a idea, which is more than the "leaders" of the Democratic Party seem to have.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. it is the floor.
the bare minimum number of votes for hillary had better exceed the votes on the public poll. and there had better be some correlation between the percentages between the public and the secret ballot.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
3. It's an idea
But with what we are yoked with - e-vote counting - it might be best to make it work as best as it can.

We need just a couple of really simple things.

* An open, researchable, testable, and simple operating code used in the machines. A code anyone can open, search and test. Anyone. My idea of such a code makes it happen that a copy of the code is placed on the internet.

* A paper ballot marked by hand, and used in audits designed to double check the results.

* Federal laws detailing the two above items. A law more complete than HAVA and clearly designed to keep e-voting fraud and corruption to an absolute minimum.

We do these three things and confidence will return. Of course this would require getting rid of DREs and using OPscans and HCPB as the only two systems in use, except for the occasional handicapped-user machines.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. those all take time, and a lot of work.
this takes less work, and is a great vehicle to convey our disgust at the privatized ballot box.
2 or 3 people per precinct could pull it off, for about $10, and it says a lot more than a parallel election. it's sort of a parallel election and a protest all in one.
it would be useful for a post election survey. and it is a floor. if the official count comes back less than the public count, i think it would be pretty hard to deny that a recount was in order. people also could make note if they were denied the right to vote.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. The number of precincts
Edited on Tue May-09-06 08:28 PM by BeFree
...times 2-3 people at each precinct, each one giving up a whole day =
Impossible

Doable at a few precincts, but isn't that is what exit-pollers did in 2004? And they screwed up/or it was corrupted. And it cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $10M.

Now, if we could get thousands of people to come out demanding that if telections are gonna use the machines to count our votes, the machines meet a few simple ground rules.

If each of us democratically entered our elections offices and argued our case to the people who work those offices, we'd soon have them on our side.

Those election workers would make formidable allies.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. it doesn't have to be every precinct
and, of course, it won't be. it is mostly the talk of parallel elections that has me thinking about this. i would give exactly zero weight to a parallel, secret poll, if "they" were doing it. i don't expect them to trust us.
but a bed sheet full of the names of obviously sick and tired voters? how many would we need around the country before msm could not ignore it? 100, 1,000, 10,000? times 3? a lot less people than the last march on washington.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
7. i would call it the bed sheet ballot.
at the chicago city council grilling of sequioa ceo jack blaine, long, long, long time chicago alderman reminded people about the infamous bed sheet ballot, in 1964. he said that the more they automate voting, the more it gets screwed up. he said we should go back to paper and pencil, and reminded us that even this incredibly long ballot was counted by hand, and was done that night.
at least in chicago, doing it on actual bed sheets would be some fun pr.
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