The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Vote By Fail: Voting Options in 21st Century America

2

Posts

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    That could happen. I find it extremely unlikely for the vast, vast majority of people.
    Because there are rules to prevent it. Twenty years ago no one would have through corporations would be considered people with religious freedoms either
    Feral wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    Just fill in a circle on a piece of paper. Negligible costs per ballot, equal speed, less possibility of tampering, more reliable recounting possibilities (even with receipts, anything that could tamper with a machine's results can likely tamper with the internal paper receipts).

    I find it unbelievable that anybody can sincerely say "just fill in a circle on a piece of paper" in the post-Gore-v-Bush world.

    Bush - Gore involved punching a whole into a piece of paper- "Hanging chads" and all. There's a lot less ambiguity in taking a marker and filling in a bubble. Its easier to detect optically, harder to fuck up and really clear.

    11793-1.png
    day9gosu.png
    QEDMF xbl: PantsB G+
  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    PantsB wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    That could happen. I find it extremely unlikely for the vast, vast majority of people.
    Because there are rules to prevent it. Twenty years ago no one would have through corporations would be considered people with religious freedoms either
    Feral wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    Just fill in a circle on a piece of paper. Negligible costs per ballot, equal speed, less possibility of tampering, more reliable recounting possibilities (even with receipts, anything that could tamper with a machine's results can likely tamper with the internal paper receipts).

    I find it unbelievable that anybody can sincerely say "just fill in a circle on a piece of paper" in the post-Gore-v-Bush world.

    Bush - Gore involved punching a whole into a piece of paper- "Hanging chads" and all. There's a lot less ambiguity in taking a marker and filling in a bubble. Its easier to detect optically, harder to fuck up and really clear.

    Not exclusively. Scantron spoilage was a major issue in that election as well.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
    Solomaxwell6
  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    In Florida, the highest rate of ballot spoilage was in Gadsden County. This was also a county with a large percentage of black voters and a large Democratic majority.

    This county used Scantrons.
    Gadsden County voters marked paper ballots, using pencils to fill in bubbles. According to the federal lawsuit the Republicans filed Saturday in Miami, the canvassing board did more than recount -- they took a second look at more than 2,000 ballots that were rejected on election night, and later included some of them in the county's certified total.

    They "interpreted" which candidate voters intended based on some choices "not being fully erased" or where "one bubble was darker and more completely filled in," according to two sworn witness affidavits filed in the Republicans' lawsuit.

    They also certified ballots where no candidate was properly selected, but an asterisk or star appeared near one of the names, as well as ballots where no candidate was selected but "had markings that indicated the voter's intent," according to the affidavits.

    This has some interesting racial connotations.
    While investigating the 2000 ballot count in Florida for BBC Television, I saw firsthand how the spoilage game was played -- with black voters the predetermined losers.

    Florida's Gadsden County has the highest percentage of black voters in the state -- and the highest spoilage rate. One in 8 votes cast there in 2000 was never counted. Many voters wrote in "Al Gore." Optical reading machines rejected these because "Al" is a "stray mark."

    By contrast, in neighboring Tallahassee, the capital, vote spoilage was nearly zip; every vote counted. The difference? In Tallahassee's white-majority county, voters placed their ballots directly into optical scanners. If they added a stray mark, they received another ballot with instructions to correct it.

    In other words, in the white county, make a mistake and get another ballot; in the black county, make a mistake, your ballot is tossed.

    The U.S. Civil Rights Commission looked into the smelly pile of spoiled ballots and concluded that, of the 179,855 ballots invalidated by Florida officials, 53 percent were cast by black voters. In Florida, a black citizen was 10 times as likely to have a vote rejected as a white voter.

    And that's the nice interpretation. The paranoid interpretation is that poll workers themselves invalidated the ballots.
    "Of the 1,900 overvotes examined today, 40 of them were clear and obvious votes for Al Gore," said Florida attorney George Drumming, who handled the examination of the ballots on behalf of Democrats.com. These 40 were invalidated due to a smudge mark or some other extraneous mark through some other candidate's name, most done by a light pencil mark that was completely different from the mark indicating the voter's preference. "There was not a single case of mysterious extraneous marks appearing on any ballots for George W. Bush," said Drumming.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    That could happen. I find it extremely unlikely for the vast, vast majority of people.
    Because there are rules to prevent it. Twenty years ago no one would have through corporations would be considered people with religious freedoms either
    Feral wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    Just fill in a circle on a piece of paper. Negligible costs per ballot, equal speed, less possibility of tampering, more reliable recounting possibilities (even with receipts, anything that could tamper with a machine's results can likely tamper with the internal paper receipts).

    I find it unbelievable that anybody can sincerely say "just fill in a circle on a piece of paper" in the post-Gore-v-Bush world.

    Bush - Gore involved punching a whole into a piece of paper- "Hanging chads" and all. There's a lot less ambiguity in taking a marker and filling in a bubble. Its easier to detect optically, harder to fuck up and really clear.

    Not exclusively. Scantron spoilage was a major issue in that election as well.

    Well, some of the events you just cited in your other post aren't exclusive to scantrons, per se, so much as any sort of electronically read, pencil votes, but yeah, scantrons are terrible. Filling in that little box is harder than most people think it is, especially if you're old, since good vision and fine muscle control are critical. Generally, these machines are total dicks re. interpretation and loose marks, and then PENCIL technology has been proven to be prone to smudging.

    TinklesFeral
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    PantsB wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    That could happen. I find it extremely unlikely for the vast, vast majority of people.
    Because there are rules to prevent it. Twenty years ago no one would have through corporations would be considered people with religious freedoms either

    That doesn't really address whether or not it's likely to happen. Which I still do not believe to be the case.

    Incidentally, voting by mail helps prevent the spoilage issue Feral mentions. It's not nearly as easy to tamper with ballots in a centralized area compared to some gymnasium with no oversight.

  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    That could happen. I find it extremely unlikely for the vast, vast majority of people.
    Because there are rules to prevent it. Twenty years ago no one would have through corporations would be considered people with religious freedoms either

    That doesn't really address whether or not it's likely to happen. Which I still do not believe to be the case.

    Incidentally, voting by mail helps prevent the spoilage issue Feral mentions. It's not nearly as easy to tamper with ballots in a centralized area compared to some gymnasium with no oversight.

    If one problem is that poll workers are inconsistently forgiving towards mismarked ballots, that remains an issue for vote-by-mail.

    The Alternet article I linked argued that the solution is to enforce consistent procedures among vote counters. I largely agree with that, though I don't see any one measure to be a panacea, even that.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
    Quid
  • silence1186silence1186 Character shields down! As a wingmanRegistered User regular
    If they do end up making Election day a National Holiday, it should be moved to Wednesday, so people can't take paid time off on Monday and turn it into a long weekend to go away.

    V wrote:
    Words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.

  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    The issue with manual counts being swayed by the poll workers has a pretty good fix we use in WA.

    During a recount, instead of rando poll workers, you get representatives from each party, pair them up, and they have to agree on what the ballot says.

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    edited September 2014
    By the way, speaking of statistical analyses and Bush v Gore: http://www.hamilton.edu/news/florida/Klinkner Analysis.pdf

    The following paragraph describes a statistical model in racial disenfranchisement (as opposed to voter education or literacy) is hypothesized to be the primary cause of ballot spoilage in Florida 2000:
    The model explains over 92 percent of the variance in spoiled ballots. In addition, the percent of black voters remains significant. Finally, in areas where the combined result of multiplying the percent of voters who are black by the voter margin for Bush is positive, there is a positive correlation with spoiled ballots. To put it another way, not only does being black matter in the model, it also matters where you are black.
    Strongly Republican areas that also had a sizeable proportion of blacks had a greater incidence of spoiled ballots. While this finding is only suggestive, it is exactly what one would expect to find in a situation where racial disenfranchisement is likely to occur--black voters are a sizeable part of the electorate, but lacked the political power to ensure that their ballots are counted accurately and fairly.

    I find this relevant because it tells us the kinds of threats we're dealing with. It corroborates PantsB's post above in which he says:
    PantsB wrote: »
    Voting is not really that complicated. Its just made that way by people in certain areas, either through gross incompetence or intentionally as a means to suppress turnout.

    But it also indicates that threats need not be centralized to be significant. Independent actors in different precincts may share motivators - such as racism, but we can easily imagine other less dramatic motivators such as economics against, for example, a tax-friendly candidate - leading them to each act in similar unethical ways, swaying an election.

    Consequently, any successful voting system (whether paper or electronic) must simultaneously protect from local, decentralized threats and remote and/or centralized threats.

    I don't think that's as simple as glib broad generalizations that electronic is more vulnerable to tampering than paper, or vice versa. It's more complicated than that. However, I do think that electronic voting systems - properly designed and implemented - could provide far more options against malfeasance and negligence than do any arbitrary paper system.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2014
    We need to quash something that started in the last thread, and carried over to this one. Specifically, we need to decide what the hell we're talking about.

    #1
    Tenek wrote: »
    You are a silly goose if you do not understand why someone would quite rationally value $58 over a vote.

    #2
    Derrick wrote: »
    While I agree that online voting would be great if it were feasible, it just doesn't seem to be feasible right now. The online roll out of Obamacare was a good indicator of our relative ability to handle such things. Our democracy is too important for amateur hour.

    #3
    hippofant wrote: »
    That doesn't really solve the problem of electronic tampering, which is what people are concerned about. Machine takes your vote, spits out the right receipt, enters the vote wrong. Everybody takes their individual receipts home, but there's no centralized paper record that can be counted and compared to the electronic record.
    1. It's rational to value $58 over a vote, because that $58 is more beneficial than the vote.
    2. Democracy, and so voting, are important. We can't go making changes before we ensure that they will not harm our process of electing representatives.
    3. Any new voting system would have to be safeguarded against tampering and fraud, because every vote matters.

    If votes don't matter, than the mechanisms for collecting and counting the votes don't matter.

    If the mechanisms for collecting and counting votes matter, then the votes matter.

    Either voting is super-special important, or voting is not super-special important. It doesn't make sense to have so much concern for the mechanism of collecting and counting votes if the votes we're collecting and counting are worth less than $58 each, and really don't matter.

    Pick one. Because this conversation doesn't make any sense until we do.

    _J_ on
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    I think literally everyone else in this tread is quite cognizant of what we are discussing.

    It's a fairly simple and uncomplicated OP that shouldn't take you very long to read.

    Good luck.

    Lh96QHG.png
    FeralQuidSurfpossumMuddypawsiTunesIsEviljmcdonaldspacekungfumanknitdanMan in the MistsMayabirdLoveIsUnity
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    We need to quash something that started in the last thread, and carried over to this one. Specifically, we need to decide what the hell we're talking about.

    #1
    Tenek wrote: »
    You are a silly goose if you do not understand why someone would quite rationally value $58 over a vote.

    #2
    Derrick wrote: »
    While I agree that online voting would be great if it were feasible, it just doesn't seem to be feasible right now. The online roll out of Obamacare was a good indicator of our relative ability to handle such things. Our democracy is too important for amateur hour.

    #3
    hippofant wrote: »
    That doesn't really solve the problem of electronic tampering, which is what people are concerned about. Machine takes your vote, spits out the right receipt, enters the vote wrong. Everybody takes their individual receipts home, but there's no centralized paper record that can be counted and compared to the electronic record.
    1. It's rational to value $58 over a vote, because that $58 is more beneficial than the vote.
    2. Democracy, and so voting, are important. We can't go making changes before we ensure that they will not harm our process of electing representatives.
    3. Any new voting system would have to be safeguarded against tampering and fraud, because every vote matters.

    If votes don't matter, than the mechanisms for collecting and counting the votes don't matter.

    If the mechanisms for collecting and counting votes matter, then the votes matter.

    Either voting is super-special important, or voting is not super-special important. It doesn't make sense to have so much concern for the mechanism of collecting and counting votes if the votes we're collecting and counting are worth less than $58 each, and really don't matter.

    Pick one. Because this conversation doesn't make any sense until we do.

    That's a false dichotomy:

    Votes can be worthless to an individual, while at the same time having an accurate poll of all citizens can be very valuable.

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
    Surfpossum
  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Is this just for voting methods, or government types (as it relates to voting) as well?

    Because I'm a lot more motivated to vote in NZ than I was in SA.

    My vote didn't really matter in SA, the other party was going to win and pretty much didn't care about me as a demographic.

    And here, even though National was going to win, how much they win by is important, and even votes for minority/single issue parties is worth something.

    Other wise, mandatory registration/voting, early voting + public holiday for voting.

    Move to New Zealand
    It’s not a very important country most of the time
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/mortious
    La Moyenne Mort
    Kalkino
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Just voting methods.

    It's not a governance thread.

    Lh96QHG.png
    Feral
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    edited September 2014
    I mean we could talk about FPTP vs AV or something I guess, or the usefulness of a none of the above vote. But let's avoid J until he's willing to actually engage.

    AManFromEarth on
    Lh96QHG.png
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    That could happen. I find it extremely unlikely for the vast, vast majority of people.

    It's recorded as happening in the UK.

    Though generally it's at home rather then at work.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    That could happen. I find it extremely unlikely for the vast, vast majority of people.
    Because there are rules to prevent it. Twenty years ago no one would have through corporations would be considered people with religious freedoms either

    That doesn't really address whether or not it's likely to happen. Which I still do not believe to be the case.

    Incidentally, voting by mail helps prevent the spoilage issue Feral mentions. It's not nearly as easy to tamper with ballots in a centralized area compared to some gymnasium with no oversight.

    If one problem is that poll workers are inconsistently forgiving towards mismarked ballots, that remains an issue for vote-by-mail.

    The Alternet article I linked argued that the solution is to enforce consistent procedures among vote counters. I largely agree with that, though I don't see any one measure to be a panacea, even that.

    I think the real solution is to enforce consistent election procedures period.

    There's no reason not to have a federal government group to handle basically all the rules about how elections are run, how ballots should look, how they should be counted, etc.

    JeanFeralQuid
  • JeanJean Gatineau, QuébecRegistered User regular
    I'm completely against online voting. I don't trust computers with something as important as democracy, period.

    We still use paper ballots in Canada and I hope it will stay that way.

    "You won't destroy us, You won't destroy our democracy. We are a small but proud nation. No one can bomb us to silence. No one can scare us from being Norway. This evening and tonight, we'll take care of each other. That's what we do best when attacked'' - Jens Stoltenberg
    Quid
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    We use optical scan voting, which is fine. I don't think I'd want to vote over the internet though and I'm not sure what the actual utility of that is beyond Tech Tech Tech. Even our vote by mail is optical scan.

    In my ideal world, we'd have a long period of early voting, with more polling places opening as you close in on Election Day with easy access to vote by mail.

    In my county, you can even drop your ballot off at the post office and if you can't afford the stamp the SoE office will pick up the tab. Of course my post office is a block from our election's office, so if I were to do that I'd just drop her in there.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    My state (WA) has moved to vote-by-mail. Started relatively small and expanded it each election. It's now the only option to vote in the state. It's the best and more states should do the same.

    To avoid the poll tax issue, you can drop the ballot off at any collection center (pretty much every public government building... post offices, public libraries, etc.). To avoid fraud issues they have you register a signature on file, which you then also sign onto the ballot. If there's a large discrepancy, you can go to a local election office within a few weeks of being notified that there was an issue to record additional handwriting samples.

    AManFromEarthAistan
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Vote by mail is so clearly superior to all other methods that it seems insane to me that it isn't the norm. It takes almost all of the inconvenience out of voting.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
    AManFromEarthknitdanMayabirdRetaba
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Vote by mail is so clearly superior to all other methods that it seems insane to me that it isn't the norm. It takes almost all of the inconvenience out of voting.

    So the Tampa Tribune ran an op ed by a writer on their staff who thinks that we couldn't make voting more convenient because it makes people care less.

    My brain melted out of my ears when I read that.

    Lh96QHG.png
    Feral
  • Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    By the way, is ballot box technology on-topic for this thread?

    Because electronic ballot hacking scares the shit out of me.

    Absolutely.

    I do not like electronic voting. At. All.

    I much prefer a paper trail on this kind of thing. It's the same reason I make Sallie Mae send me physical correspondence.

    Paper trails and electronic voting are not mutually exclusive.

    Except that the public argument for e-voting is typically, "Why are we using paper? It's outdated!" And voting on paper and electronically is a duplication of materials/effort.

    Not at all. The paper trail does not mean "Vote on a machine once and then vote on paper once." That wouldn't make any sense. You get a receipt (which you can then throw out, keep, or just not take in the first place).

    This is something else that is already done successfully in other countries.

    That doesn't really solve the problem of electronic tampering, which is what people are concerned about. Machine takes your vote, spits out the right receipt, enters the vote wrong. Everybody takes their individual receipts home, but there's no centralized paper record that can be counted and compared to the electronic record.

    The machine could spit out a public paper record of all votes, but the voter wouldn't get to see it and/or that would breach voter confidentiality.
    PantsB wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    By the way, is ballot box technology on-topic for this thread?

    Because electronic ballot hacking scares the shit out of me.

    Absolutely.

    I do not like electronic voting. At. All.

    I much prefer a paper trail on this kind of thing. It's the same reason I make Sallie Mae send me physical correspondence.

    Paper trails and electronic voting are not mutually exclusive.

    Except that the public argument for e-voting is typically, "Why are we using paper? It's outdated!" And voting on paper and electronically is a duplication of materials/effort.

    Not at all. The paper trail does not mean "Vote on a machine once and then vote on paper once." That wouldn't make any sense. You get a receipt (which you can then throw out, keep, or just not take in the first place).

    This is something else that is already done successfully in other countries.

    The argument is still basically "voting on paper is outdated." Electronic voting doesn't really add anything. You can count the ballots essentially instantly with a scantron type ballot counter.

    Yes you can have a receipt print out, but at that point why are you bothering with the electronic ballot?

    And physical security of a ballot box (generally watched by the police and representatives of both sides) is much simpler than ensuring the data in the machine is not tampered with over the network.

    It sounds like there are misunderstandings of how electronic voting works (in theory, not necessarily in current practice). There's two different situations. On-line and in person voting.

    With in person voting, there are definitely issues with the current system. Those issues are known, and also easily fixed. You get to the machine, hop on to a slick and easy to use interface, and you're done in a few seconds with no confusion. At this point, three things happen: First, a digital copy of the vote is recorded. Second, a physical copy of the vote is produced for the records of the electoral agency. Third, a receipt is printed (the voter can immediately discard it if he or she wants). The physical copy is kept under the same kind of conditions as current paper ballots, so no security issues there. A hash would be associated with the vote. I can't remember how it would be used exactly, I don't think it includes any information except hashes, but I'm not sure how it would work without a list of who you voted for*. When the election is over, the digital votes are counted. Election results are posted online. And then, if you're curious, you get to type in your hash to see who you voted for. Remember, this is just a hash, your name and personal information are not associated with the vote. No breach of privacy. If a candidate wants a recount, the paper copies are used.

    The trick comes if you notice your vote online is recorded differently. Then you complain. Thanks to the magic of statistics, it doesn't take a lot of wrong ballots to start seeing complaints pop up, and it doesn't take a lot of complaints to be sure there is something wrong. At that point, the way to continue would be up to the relevant electoral agency. That case can be a pickle! There's some kind of fraud, either the machine is broken and the results can't be trusted, or it means that people are lying about their complaints and the results can be trusted, but you aren't necessarily sure which. However, I think it's a better problem than the alternative. Since Florida 2000 has been brought up here, remember that we know the results of the election were wrong. Spoiled ballots, wrong votes, hanging chads. It was a clusterfuck of an election, and we went with those results anyway. And how many votes have been ruined or miscounted for whatever reason that we don't know about? At least in the case of electronic machines, we would be aware of an issue and could deal with it or, if the Supreme Court demands, we could pretend it doesn't exist.

    It's all pretty simple to do technically, and is also far more usable than paper ballots. Paper ballots can be confusing or misused even at their simplest. Confusing alignment of names and marks, people not filling in their mark quite enough, stray marks making the machine think you voted twice, whatever. An electronic interface would let you just click on the name you like, it highlights the name, and you know for sure who you're voting for and that it'll be counted.

    Online voting is a lot more complicated and I'd honestly have to do more research to remember the technical details. As I mentioned before, there's been a lot of research on it and a lot of countries use it. Criticisms tend to rely on shitty implementations of it like the DC implementation. I think this is another case where you rely on voters to sort things out. They can use multiple machines to verify, so even if the machine they voted on is compromised, a second computer will give them the real vote. Trickier, since it relies on voters using multiple machines and also the kind of people who care enough about voting security to check on multiple machines will probably care enough about computer security to avoid viruses, but again, statistically it only takes a small number of people checking to realize something is wrong.

    Feral
  • Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    Vote by mail is so clearly superior to all other methods that it seems insane to me that it isn't the norm. It takes almost all of the inconvenience out of voting.

    So the Tampa Tribune ran an op ed by a writer on their staff who thinks that we couldn't make voting more convenient because it makes people care less.

    My brain melted out of my ears when I read that.

    That's something I was wondering about. If elections lose their pageantry, how many voters would stop? And which voters?

    It's just curiosity, though. I think it's a pretty easy problem to solve if, after make voting so convenient there's no excuse not to, we then enforce mandatory voting. Maybe there would still be the occasional person disillusioned with the easiness of democracy who decides to pay a fine instead of having an easy vote, but I'm more than willing to bet those people would be far, far outweighed by the new voters.

  • knitdanknitdan Land Clearer Dingleberry FarmRegistered User regular
    My county went to vote-by-mail before I turned 18, and I love it. I can vote at my leisure, there's no wait times, and I can have all my research right in front of me when I fill it out.

    In person voting can pound sand. It's an archaic election tradition that makes no sense these days, much like how every 4 years, everyone pretends Iowa and New Hampshire actually matter.

    I heard we were discussing how pornography makes men bad at sex and I came as fast as I could.
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    If someone is going to stop voting because there's no pagentry in it, they're probably not voting because there's isn't the deciding factor.

    While I encourage all citizens to be active and informed voters, I am unconcerned about losing those particular people.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • PolaritiePolaritie Oh I didn't see this box. Registered User regular
    knitdan wrote: »
    My county went to vote-by-mail before I turned 18, and I love it. I can vote at my leisure, there's no wait times, and I can have all my research right in front of me when I fill it out.

    In person voting can pound sand. It's an archaic election tradition that makes no sense these days, much like how every 4 years, everyone pretends Iowa and New Hampshire actually matter.

    No, in-person voting does offer some valuable protections against some types of abuse. It should not be the only option, but it shouldn't be done away with either.

    Steam: Polaritie
    3DS: 0473-8507-2652
    PSN: AbEntropy
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    I think I'm comfortable saying that mail-in voting solves every problem with voting that you could hope to solve. Any leftover problems are probably ones just inherent to the task.


    If there were ever a way to do it securely / being reasonably sure that nobody was voting multiple times, SMS and/or e-mail voting would be fantastic. I think you'd get like 90% voter participation that way.

    With Love and Courage
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    When I lived in Washington, I loved vote by mail. The first ballot I got, when it arrived I took off my pants and got on the computer to research every single thing and person listed. I took off my pants just so I could say I voted without wearing any pants. It was awesome.

    Also - voting by mail increased voter turnout in Oregon and Washington.

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Mayabird wrote: »
    When I lived in Washington, I loved vote by mail. The first ballot I got, when it arrived I took off my pants and got on the computer to research every single thing and person listed. I took off my pants just so I could say I voted without wearing any pants. It was awesome.

    Also - voting by mail increased voter turnout in Oregon and Washington.

    This is why I advocate for it. I believe the result has been significant increases in voting in each jurisdiction that adopted vote by mail. Its so clearly the answer for do many reasons, but, if you care about democracy, this should be reason enough.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
    MayabirdThe EnderknitdanDarkPrimusAManFromEarthsyndalisMillJulius
  • knitdanknitdan Land Clearer Dingleberry FarmRegistered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    knitdan wrote: »
    My county went to vote-by-mail before I turned 18, and I love it. I can vote at my leisure, there's no wait times, and I can have all my research right in front of me when I fill it out.

    In person voting can pound sand. It's an archaic election tradition that makes no sense these days, much like how every 4 years, everyone pretends Iowa and New Hampshire actually matter.

    No, in-person voting does offer some valuable protections against some types of abuse. It should not be the only option, but it shouldn't be done away with either.

    Such as?

    I heard we were discussing how pornography makes men bad at sex and I came as fast as I could.
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    I'm comfortable with in-person voting remaining as an option, even if it just became supplemental to mail-in voting, for reasons of tradition alone.


    I just like walking to the polling place (...well, except on days that I don't. And then I don't vote... :| )

    With Love and Courage
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Vote by mail absolutely increases voter turn out.

    Selfishly speaking, usually democratic voter turn out.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    In Washington, crotchety (probably old) people who really, really want to go to a polling place instead of filling in the ballot that was mailed to them weeks ahead of time can still go to the county courthouse and vote.

    Another fringe benefit to mail-in voting: no hyperventilating pollsters standing outside for exit polls to feed constantly to hyperventilating media talking heads. Just a nice civilized "yeah, we'll announce the results once we're finished counting in a few days." It's not like any of the people involved will be taking office until the next year anyway.

    DehumanizedspacekungfumanThe EnderElvenshaeAistanknitdan
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Not many threads have answers, but it seems like this one does. Does anyone object to vote by mail?

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    Yeah, they begin to have some preliminary results on election night, because there's no reason to not start processing ballots when the polls are almost closed (they officially close 8PM, but results start trickling in a little before that), but there's little frenzy about the process.

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular

    knitdan wrote: »
    Polaritie wrote: »
    knitdan wrote: »
    My county went to vote-by-mail before I turned 18, and I love it. I can vote at my leisure, there's no wait times, and I can have all my research right in front of me when I fill it out.

    In person voting can pound sand. It's an archaic election tradition that makes no sense these days, much like how every 4 years, everyone pretends Iowa and New Hampshire actually matter.

    No, in-person voting does offer some valuable protections against some types of abuse. It should not be the only option, but it shouldn't be done away with either.

    Such as?

    Most forms of in-person coercion. See above for the example of your boss wanting you to vote a certain way. If they legally can't go into the ballot box with you, they can't tell what you voted for. But they can peek at the mail-in ballot..

  • knitdanknitdan Land Clearer Dingleberry FarmRegistered User regular
    So you fill it out at home and send it in.

    Until you can prove that these hypotheticals are actually happening on a widespread level, I don't think its an issue.

    It's like how GOP makes a huge stink over voter fraud, when it just doesn't happen on any kind of relevant scale.

    I heard we were discussing how pornography makes men bad at sex and I came as fast as I could.
    Spoit
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    In Florida, the highest rate of ballot spoilage was in Gadsden County. This was also a county with a large percentage of black voters and a large Democratic majority.

    This county used Scantrons.
    Gadsden County voters marked paper ballots, using pencils to fill in bubbles. According to the federal lawsuit the Republicans filed Saturday in Miami, the canvassing board did more than recount -- they took a second look at more than 2,000 ballots that were rejected on election night, and later included some of them in the county's certified total.

    They "interpreted" which candidate voters intended based on some choices "not being fully erased" or where "one bubble was darker and more completely filled in," according to two sworn witness affidavits filed in the Republicans' lawsuit.

    They also certified ballots where no candidate was properly selected, but an asterisk or star appeared near one of the names, as well as ballots where no candidate was selected but "had markings that indicated the voter's intent," according to the affidavits.

    This has some interesting racial connotations.
    While investigating the 2000 ballot count in Florida for BBC Television, I saw firsthand how the spoilage game was played -- with black voters the predetermined losers.

    Florida's Gadsden County has the highest percentage of black voters in the state -- and the highest spoilage rate. One in 8 votes cast there in 2000 was never counted. Many voters wrote in "Al Gore." Optical reading machines rejected these because "Al" is a "stray mark."

    By contrast, in neighboring Tallahassee, the capital, vote spoilage was nearly zip; every vote counted. The difference? In Tallahassee's white-majority county, voters placed their ballots directly into optical scanners. If they added a stray mark, they received another ballot with instructions to correct it.

    In other words, in the white county, make a mistake and get another ballot; in the black county, make a mistake, your ballot is tossed.

    The U.S. Civil Rights Commission looked into the smelly pile of spoiled ballots and concluded that, of the 179,855 ballots invalidated by Florida officials, 53 percent were cast by black voters. In Florida, a black citizen was 10 times as likely to have a vote rejected as a white voter.

    And that's the nice interpretation. The paranoid interpretation is that poll workers themselves invalidated the ballots.
    "Of the 1,900 overvotes examined today, 40 of them were clear and obvious votes for Al Gore," said Florida attorney George Drumming, who handled the examination of the ballots on behalf of Democrats.com. These 40 were invalidated due to a smudge mark or some other extraneous mark through some other candidate's name, most done by a light pencil mark that was completely different from the mark indicating the voter's preference. "There was not a single case of mysterious extraneous marks appearing on any ballots for George W. Bush," said Drumming.

    What you are talking about is more reflective of voting fraud rather than of voting methodologies. So to an extent the question becomes what method of balloting can result in the clearest audits to detect vote fraud before returns are finalized. In that respect I would still say that Scantron is the best option, coupled with ritualized strong FEC oversight. (Mandatory audits of a randomized selection of ~20% of counties with population weighting after every general election, say)

    One other aspect of this to consider, though, is also the graphic design element of ballots. Florida being Florida I wouldn't be shocked if their scantrons were just as horrible as the butterfly ballots which may well have contributed to all of that. After the 2000 debacle there Illinois actually hired graphic designers to reform our ballots in order to ensure they were not only straightforward but followed best practices in order to ensure information was provided clearly. Simple things like using mixed caps versus all caps make a significant difference in legibility and its not like it costs more to print. They even got AIGA awards, if I remember right. These sorts of things should be standardized, even if the specific language for propositions or referenda would still probably have to be legalese.

  • AistanAistan Registered User regular
    If this hypothetical "bring your ballot to work day" thing did occur, i'm sure the Justice Dept. would be very interested in hearing about it and would take seriously any anonymous tip that was sent their way.

    steam_sig.png
    DoctorArchLostNinjaspacekungfumanQuidAngelHedgieMilljmcdonald
2
Sign In or Register to comment.