The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75217   Message #1321001
Posted By: Genie
08-Nov-04 - 09:54 PM
Thread Name: BS: Help! The computer ate OH & FL votes!
Subject: RE: BS: Help! The computer ate OH & FL votes!
Metchosin , to put is plainly, I think there are only two reasons why the US insists on complicated voting machines and electronic counting rather than paper ballots that are hand counted.
1. The recent obsession with immediate results. (Though, as we saw in 2000, the high-tech, complex methods -- differing from county to county -- actually delayed the final result.
2. High-tech and mechanical voting machines make it easier for pols to cheat. The people who are in power don't really want that power threatened by anything as trivial as the will of the people.
(Had the Democrats been in charge of Ohio and Florida, they might have cheated as much as it looks like the Republicans did. Richard Daly and Lyndon Johnson were experts at that. But this year the Republicans were in control of most of the "swing" states.)
3. The general cultural fascination with all things high-tech. (E.g., we now use expensive, polluting and noisy leaf blowers instead of inexpensive rakes and elbow grease.)

A simple solution to the problem, which would preserve states' rights, would be to pass a law requiring
a. all votes for the Presidency and maybe for for all federal offices to be cast on a STANDARD, simple PAPER ballot
b. all votes to be counted by nonpartisan government workers -- with all parties who have candidates on the ballot allowed to participate in or observe the countig
c. all ballots to be preserved, securely, until all candidates and parties represented on the ballots give written permission for their destruction.

This kind of law will never pass as long as there's such a lopsided Congress and a SCOTUS with somewhat questionable integrity.