October 28, 2008

Touch-screen voting machines screw up... right in front of the video camera.

Even as a voting official demonstrates how he's just fixed the problem by "recalibrating" the machine. Terrible!

IN THE COMMENTS: Bissage says:
I’ve actually had good luck with those touch-screen voting machines.

One time I cast my vote and lights flashed and bells rung and then . . . JACKPOT!!!

A whole heaping pile of chads came pouring out!

Sweet.

51 comments:

Pogo said...

No need to worry. Obama's army of lawyers will make certain the desired outcome occurs regardless.

TMink said...

Paper ballots, maybe even a purple finger would help.

Trey

mccullough said...

Why don't the people who make ATMs make these machines.

ATMs work great.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What was wrong with the tried and true paper and pencil system?

This is a disaster. Both sides are never going to be able to accept the veracity or fairness of our election system. We have truly become a third world banana republic.

Shameful and completely unnecessary.

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bissage said...

I’ve actually had good luck with those touch-screen voting machines.

One time I cast my vote and lights flashed and bells rung and then . . . JACKPOT!!!

A whole heaping pile of chads came pouring out!

Sweet.

Freeman Hunt said...

I always vote with paper and pencil. I don't know why we have to go to voting machines.

I agree with Trey about the purple finger. I would be all for adopting that.

Daryl said...

Don't blame me. I say paper optical scan ballots only.

That's because I know something about computers. Just about everyone else with formal training in computer science, or even just a lot of informal exposure, agrees that paper ballots are the way to go.

Computers are awesome for lots of things, but not for counting votes.

slattern23 said...

Paper ballots and cheap wooden leaded pencils! Why is that so hard? And the added plus is, it makes the carbon footprint fanatics wake up screaming at night. What's not to love?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Having lived for almost two decades in Canada, I have nothing but praise for their system of paper ballots.

In a Canadian election, however, there is only one office to be filled, be it Member of Parliament, Member of the [provincial] Legislative Assembly, or municipal and county offices.

Paper ballots get more challenging when there are a lot of "down ballot" races, to say nothing of referenda, ballot initiatives, and so on.

Consequently the only viable form of paper ballot in the USA would be an optical-scan arrangement, read by a machine, unlike Canadian paper ballots which are physically counted by an official poll worker under the direct verification of monitors provided by the all three major parties.

I have little confidence in the results of American elections, and in certain cases I have no trust in those results, either. I'm old enough to remember Illinois in 1960.

There is really only one way out:

a) Mandatory re-registration of every voter in America. Start from scratch. "Motor-Voter" must be terminated.

b) To re-register, you must prove citizenship with a passport or official birth certificate.
Tto vote you must prove you are who you say you are.

d) Having voted, you are to be marked indelibly

e) Early and absentee voting must be restricted substantially, to those with demonstrable need.

Henry said...

Consequently the only viable form of paper ballot in the USA would be an optical-scan arrangement, read by a machine

Works fine in Rhode Island.

We've had a few four-pagers what with all the bond issues, but it's not all that complicated.

Sigivald said...

tmink: Ah, but think back to Florida in the 2000 election.

The dreaded "butterfly ballot", designed and approved by the local election committee, was then blamed for spoiling the election or at least causing huge voter confusion.

The recent push to electronic voting was kneejerk reaction to that.

(Here in Oregon we use optical-scan fill-in-the-oval cards, which don't seem to have any significant problems.)

mccullough: That is very dry humor, right? It's so hard to tell here on the internets.

SteveR said...

While I think purple fingers, etc. would be an improvement, I shudder to think of the hysteria from those who think having to show an ID is a violation of their rights.

Throw in early voting as Mickey Mouse on October 17th, Daffy Duck on October 25th and John Smith on November 4th and it lacks some teeth.

MadisonMan said...

From the video: You should never leave the voting booth without voting who you wanted to vote for

No matter how hard the technology makes it.

This is when you take a hammer into the booth. (Wham!) Oh Mr. Pollworker, I think this machine is broken. I was just trying to place my vote firmly!

AJ Lynch said...

This brings up a question. When someone takes back their vote as was done in Ohio on Saturday, how do they know who you voted for? Does the machine record have your name associated with the vote? Does the paper ballot have your name on it?

Hoosier Daddy said...

What was wrong with the tried and true paper and pencil system?

Because we wouldn't know who won that night and that is simply unacceptable. People won't stand for it.

AJ Lynch said...

To clarify, I have voted on mechanical and electronic machines. I kinda doubt the mechanical machines know which voter voted for which candidate. I believe the machine keeps a running tally for each office on the ballot.

tim maguire said...

I've never had a problem with electronic voting. Or maybe I have. How would I know?

Pundit Joe said...

Glenn Harlan Reynolds does a great job of explaining why paper ballots are a good idea in this TCSDaily article.

I'm also for requiring photo ID.

Leaders carry the authority granted to them by the people's vote. If the vote loses credibility then the leaders lose their authority. So, it is in everyone's best interest to restore and maintain that credibility in the election process.

AJ Lynch said...

Bissage:

Latest exchange rate has chads worth 1.5 of our dollars.

AJ Lynch said...

This just in:

The "wonderful Bissage" has been downgraded to simply "Bissage".

MadisonMan said...

Because we wouldn't know who won that night and that is simply unacceptable. People won't stand for it.

All the morning newspapers -- which is to say all the newspapers since all the P.M. papers have folded -- will editorialize against it as well, as they'll have to put their papers to bed without answers.

Hand-counting ballots does present some problems, but is it worse than the problems of uncooperative touch screens? I don't know.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hand-counting ballots does present some problems, but is it worse than the problems of uncooperative touch screens? I don't know.

Hard to say. I don't know much about them but I think there is a level of faith that its actually counting the vote and there is some backup if it fails.

JAL said...

I hadn't heard about the voter who wanted to change his/her vote ...

I have wondered about that -- out loud to hubby recently.

That is one of my problems with early voting. What does one do if they want to change their mind? What recourse is there?

The other problem which has occurred more often is -- what if the voter dies before the election?

Someone on another comment section mentioned that they had voted early in case they died, so their vote would be counted.

I am of the mind that the people elected represent people who are alive and affected by what they are doing. Dead is dead.

Paper ballots, purple fingers are very good ideas.

I like having to identify yourself also. I live in a rural area and inevitably someone in the polling place knows who you are ... but I understand that is not the case many places.

But I absolutely do not think that people should be allowed to vote without something to prove who they are - even a power bill or paystub, unemployment registrtion etc. As for the 'homeless' there could be something they get from the local shelter.

Photo ID is good, but I am sure the left would object saying that that puts an impediment in place to voting.

I am not keen on national ID card.

Conflicting positions, I know.

Ann Althouse said...

"The "wonderful Bissage" has been downgraded to simply "Bissage"."

No, the wonderful Bissage has been upgraded. Have you not noticed that is it Bissage Day on the Althouse blog?

Freeman Hunt said...

Paper doesn't mean hand counting. You can use optical scanners. Last year, I got to choose between paper and pencil voting or touch screen voting. I hope I still have that choice again this year.

Will said...

mccullough said:
Why don't the people who make ATMs make these machines.
The infamous Diebold makes both ATM's and voting machines.

Having worked as an election judge, I don't believe the problem is in what sort of machine or ballot is used. It's down to the trustworthiness of the judges and the county clerk's office. If the judges are reliable, as were the ones I worked with, you get reliable election results. If the judges are crooked, you get crooked results.

Having said all that, I've voted on touch-screen machines both with and without paper trails, and I've never encountered the problems that are so often reported. I do prefer, however, using a paper ballot with the optical scan machine. It's hard to tinker with, and much easier to examine the ballot for the voter's intent if the machine fails to read it.

MadisonMan said...

Have you not noticed that is it Bissage Day on the Althouse blog?

I vote for letting him initiate comment threads.

What the!?? The machine changed my vote to disallow that! Who supplies the machines around here?

TMink said...

Bart Hall, you have a wonderful system there. Outstanding.

As to chads, the only way to produce hanging chads is to stack several (more than 15) voting cards and try to mark them all at once.

That is fraud!

Trey

Will said...

Further reflecting on mccullough's ATM comment, I thought about the self-checkout machines at my grocery store.
I've never had a problem with their touchscreens failing to respond accurately to my selections.
I think the problem with electronic voting machines may be the perennial government problem: they're built by the lowest bidder. And ordered by people way, way, way down the budgetary food-chain.

AJ Lynch said...

Bissage Day? I just noticed that.
I take back my crack about the downgrade. Good work Bissage! You are now my new idol.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Because we wouldn't know who won that night and that is simply unacceptable. People won't stand for it.

Maybe we need to get over this instant gratification thing in elections.

It takes days after the voting deadline to actually count the ballots. Absentee ballots, oversea military ballots, mail in ballots postmarked the day of the election not received for days later, weeding out the duplicate and fraudulent ballots.

What's the big rush to announce a winner before the day is over? This is what caused so many problems and animus in the Gore/Bush and Kerry/Bush elections.

For crying out loud. This is too important to rush to pronounce a winner when the results are not validated for days. In the olden horse and buggy days it was months before the election was validated. Why do you think the inauguration is in January...months after the voting date?

The inauguration for the first U.S. president, George Washington, was held on April 30, 1789 in New York City. Inauguration Day was originally set for March 4, giving electors from each state nearly four months after Election Day to cast their ballots for president

Slow down people and let's get this right: especially in a close and contested election.

Revenant said...

Because we wouldn't know who won that night and that is simply unacceptable. People won't stand for it.

We easily could. High-volume scanning of forms is something with VERY solid technology behind it. It wouldn't even necessarily have to be a standard optical mark reading form. We could let people circle the names of the candidates they want; machines can read that, too.

blake said...

There was nothing wrong with the punch card system all this was meant to replace.

The current mess was a logical consequence of the post-2000 hysteria.

laura said...

DBQ - agreed. And not just in elections

Bissage said...

Bissage day on the Althouse blog?

Oh, my goodness!

** blushes **

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

It's a Bissage hat trick! You're the Mario Lemieux of Althouse! And the Bill Mosienko.

Trooper York said...

Does Mrs. Bissage know how much Althouse likes to tag you?

You wonderful guy you.

Trooper York said...

And garage mahal screamed in vain.

AlphaLiberal said...

Geeez.

Thanks for bringing attention to this, Ann. This has been a problem around the country. Though I haven't heard a report yet about a Republican vote being changed by the touchscreen machine to Democrat - always the other way.

I'm pretty sure here in Wisconsin those machines are not allowed. We use optical scan which

Looks like that brave woman had Botox treatments. Hard to ignore.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yay for Bissage Day!

* sips a potent drink *

* dances the Bissage dance *

garage mahal said...

Congrats Bissage.

But I'm afraid the terrorists have already won.

Eli Blake said...

McCullough:

why don't people who make ATM's make these machines? ATMS work great.

The sad thing is, they do. Diebold makes most of the voting equipment, and they also make a lot of ATMs.

I suspect that the reason is if they make an ATM that screws up they are likely to get sued, but the truth is that they don't think it's all that important to make good voting equipment.

Palladian said...

Fuck Bissage! I'm sick of this Bissage shit! What about me?! Has Obama driven a wedge between us Althouse?!

mariner said...

DBQ:

"This is a disaster. Both sides are never going to be able to accept the veracity or fairness of our election system. We have truly become a third world banana republic.

Shameful and completely unnecessary."

A disaster. Yes.
Shameful. Absolutely.
Completely unnecessary? Not.

Notice the current trends:

-- Away from requiring proof of eligibility to register

-- Away from requiring ID to vote

-- Away from ensuring an eligible voter only votes once

-- Toward voting systems that are more difficult (even impossible) to audit after the fact

Notice that each of these trends reduces public confidence in fair elections.

Now look at just who is promoting each of these trends.

These are in fact necessary to ensure the election of the right candidates, "by any means necessary".

Trooper York said...

From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his ink with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves
accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That wrote with us upon
Bissage day.

Iapetus said...

@Mariner: Then the switching of votes from "Dem" to "Repub" shown in the video is just deserts.

Jim Howard said...

There is of course massive voter fraud going on, the Democrats are practically bragging about it.

But these machines are not 'hacked'. They are too poorly designed to be hackable.

What you see in this video is the end result of a typical government IT contract. A expensive piece of non-working gear that frustrates every poor smuck down there at the bottom of the totem pole who has to actually use it.

When you watch this video, keep something in mind.

If we vote for Obama, then the kind of management skill that went into procuring these junk machines will be used to control your health care, your retirement pay, and your job (if you're lucky enough to have one a year from now).

knowitall said...

I agree, it doesn't matter how accurate the voting machines are, the Ivy-Leaguers and their liberal illuminati entourage will back them in saying the machines are wrong. Always the case!

charles said...

Having been a part of the Online Universal Work Marketing team for 4 months now, I’m thankful for my fellow team members who have patiently shown me the ropes along the way and made me feel welcome

www.onlineuniversalwork.com