Voting in America

VOTING IN AMERICA….Should electronic voting machines provide paper receipts that show you who you voted for? Nick Confessore quotes a reader who says:

One other thing: I don’t believe anyone is advocating a system which allows the voter to take home a copy of her ballot. That leads directly to vote-buying. Some systems do issue an encrypted receipt which can be used to verify a ballot, but which cannot itself reproduce the contents of that ballot.

Well, OK. But if that’s the case, aren’t absentee ballots just as dangerous? It’s one of the reasons I’m a little nervous about the skyrocketing use of absentee ballots.

Overall, I’m still a fan of fill-in-the-bubble ballots, which are paper based, highly reliable, easy to count, and leave an automatic audit trail. However, I note that here in California the disabled lobby is suing to prevent exactly that:

Peter Benavidez, a partially blind voter who is among the plaintiffs, told the Los Angeles Times for Friday’s editions that to use a paper ballot he must tell a poll worker his selection. With electronic voting, he slips on headphones, listens to the options and selects a candidate by pressing a button.

Sigh. Democracy is hard.

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