Every vote counts
July 29, 2004 8:28 AM   Subscribe

A political party urges Miami voters to use absentee ballots because electronic voting has no paper trail and cannot "verify your vote." The Democrats? Nope -- the Florida GOP.
posted by tregoweth (13 comments total)
The problems with touchscreen voting systems shouldn't be partisan, they should worry everyone who thinks that citizens have the right to self-rule. Expect to see a lot more stories like this one from California in November if we don't fix the problems. Since there are less than 100 days to election day, don't hold your breath for voter verifiable paper trails.
posted by revgeorge at 9:38 AM on July 29, 2004

It is in everyone's best interest that the upcoming elections be clearly and incontestably fair, regardless of political party.

Unless, of course, you are trying to rig an election. This tells me that at least on the local/state level, the GOP doesn't want to be the center of controversy. However, the article makes it clear that this does not filter up as far as the Governor's mansion.

Given the topic, I think it's appropriate to mention Krugman's essay on the potential of voting fraud, and related events in Florida.
posted by ilsa at 9:42 AM on July 29, 2004

It is in everyone's best interest that the upcoming elections be clearly and incontestably fair, regardless of political party.

Unless, of course, you are trying to rig an election.

Things that make you go "hmm..."
posted by rushmc at 9:48 AM on July 29, 2004

Vote verification doesn't matter if you don't get a vote to begin with.
posted by biffa at 9:56 AM on July 29, 2004

Can someone address whether or not this is good advice? It has been my intention to vote via absentee ballot, for just this reason, despite living less than a block where I should vote this November.
posted by sequential at 10:04 AM on July 29, 2004

Biffa, you speak truth.

However, if someone requests an absentee ballot now, and it turns out they are erroneously on a list of people not allowed to vote, that person still has 3 months to fix the problem. So the way I see it, absentee voting is a win-win proposition.
posted by ilsa at 10:04 AM on July 29, 2004

I'm a just-registered Miami voter, and I was already planning to do this before the GOP told us to.
posted by gatorae at 10:27 AM on July 29, 2004

What a horrible fucked-up mess Americans have made of voting. People are going to look back at Florida '00 as a relatively well-run election compared to the mess that awaits for you this November. No matter which side wins, you can bet on that.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:23 AM on July 29, 2004

Oregon solves the problem by not having voting booths at all.

Vote by mail is the safest, most sane way to vote, IMO. The best part is that there is no last minute flood of advertising or election eve surprises since there is a three week window of voting.
posted by karmaville at 11:27 AM on July 29, 2004

On the other hand, it means that different people vote with a different set of available information. Which could potentially be troubling.

But it doesn't trouble me enough; I do everything by absentee.
posted by obfusciatrist at 2:52 PM on July 29, 2004

I know one state actualy does everything with absentee balots. Probably the best way overall, but the problem is: you can prove how you voted (if someone is buying your vote) and that balots might be lost in the mail. Imagine if a GOP mailman in a heavily dem area...

Hmm, on second thought it might not be the best way to do things in heavily contested locations.
posted by delmoi at 5:17 PM on July 29, 2004

Check with your local elections board about rules for casting your absentee ballot in person (you should be able to drop it off), or casting a provisional ballot on election day (they're used for people whose eligibility cannot be immediately verified, such as for instance *cough* when one shows up at a different precinct). With the absentee you get plenty lead time to resolve any registration errors. Provisional has zero lead time, but you do get to find out whether your vote was counted or not. HAVA does have its good points:
(5)(A) At the time that an individual casts a provisional
ballot, the appropriate State or local election official shall
give the individual written information that states that any
individual who casts a provisional ballot will be able to
ascertain under the system established under subparagraph (B)
whether the vote was counted, and, if the vote was not counted,
the reason that the vote was not counted.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 6:31 PM on July 29, 2004

In the UK we experimented with postal voting only in some areas for the recent European and local elections. Problems included; delays in printing and delivery of ballots; access to multiple votes; party members 'helping' people with their votes and intimidation.
posted by biffa at 1:54 AM on July 30, 2004

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