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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-10 08:08 PM
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Old Voting Machines Have a Laudable History
Edited on Sat Apr-24-10 08:10 PM by Wilms
For some reason, Greenwich Time decided to re-run this article yesterday.

Old Voting Machines Have a Laudable History

This Bernie Yudain column originally ran on Sept. 15, 2004.

April 23, 2010


Over the long period they have registered the votes of Greenwich citizens, they have proved remarkably dependable and resilient. There have been occasional minor malfunctions, as happens with any mechanical device, but there have been few of any significance. And any question about the accuracy of the results they produced was rare indeed.

Compared to the fiascoes that have occurred with some of the alternate types of voting, they have a record to be proud of, in the opinion of this long-time observer of Greenwich political history.


Call me sentimental. I don't care. I think they're just fine -- no butterfly ballots, no hanging chads, no confusing contraptions or punch cards or electronic wizardry already under suspicion for not producing paper trails.

The mechanical machines, at least as maintained and operated in our bailiwick, proved consistently trustworthy because their integrity was easy to protect.

As a young reporter, I recall election nights when I rushed down to the Armory as the machines were closed to voting, clutching large blank ballots pasted on cardboard sheets that were made up ahead of time as we geared up for an Election Extra that would be published once all the results were in. Fellow reporters were out on similar assignment at the town's other voting precincts.

We reporters would stand there, alongside the election volunteers from both parties, watching the moderator open the back of each machine, point a flashlight at the counters and sing out the numbers, which were confirmed by the monitors. It was primitive by today's standards, but virtually foolproof.

When we had a district's numbers jotted down, it meant dashing back to the office (on East Elm Street, where it still is) and handing them to the guy assigned to tally incoming results, all of which were posted on a giant bulletin board.


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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-10 11:13 PM
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1. Ah, the good old days.
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AtLiberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-10 08:37 AM
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2. Be still my heart...
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