Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Last night I voted. No big deal. I stopped in on my way to my book club meeting. The school playground was full of kids playing while Mom/Dad/Grandparents voted, and socialized before and after.

In many places in CNY the poll workers know every voter by sight, and there are church suppers, Fire Dept pancake breakfasts, and PTA bake sales to make it even more pleasant.

But it did get me to thinking.

My voting experience looks something like this:

Would I still be a good voter if it looked like this?:

How does the average person even get the time to stand in line 4-6-10 hours?


Election Day is on a week day. Unless you work in a government office – it’s a work day.

Do you have to use a vacation day or sick day to get off from work?

Heck – the schools which serve as polling places here are in session on Election Day. How would teachers get to vote if they had to stand in line all those hours?  Do they have place holders so you can leave to use the rest room, get lunch, pick up your kids from school? What about the elderly, handicapped and infirm? Can you bring a lawn chair?

And why do lines like that exist? Why aren’t there more polling places and more (functioning) voting machines?

My only complaint about election day is that we no longer have our mechanical machines where you flip the little lever. NYS gave in and now has the paper ballot with scanners. Doesn’t matter which way you put the ballot in, the scanner will read it. I hope that’s true.

By Ana Grarian

50+ hippy chick from NY - STATE - and yes, I'm sensitive about that.

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12 years ago

The old mechanical clunk-clunk machines were really easy to rig to steal votes, they were basically the touchscreen machines of their era because there was no paper record, just mechanical wheels on the back adding up the totals for each candidate. The scan-tron machines at least have the advantage of having a paper record so that if one of the candidates object to the reports spit out by the computer, the paper ballots can be hand-counted. Personally I’d rather have the scan-tron machines than clunk-clunk or touchscreen machines any time of day, accounting systems which have no paper trail would get you jailed if you implemented one for your business, why should votes be less important than dollars?

– Badtux the Accounting Penguin

Joyce Lovelace
Joyce Lovelace
12 years ago

OK. I didn’t realize the old machines were such a problem. I’ll consider myself lucky to get a paper ballot.

Ken Carman
12 years ago

The difference between the two is this: yes, you can rig mechanicals, but you would have to do it machine by machine. Tossing votes into the bay is more likely to change election results than that. But if you really want to change election results go digital and have the results sent to a central location, preferably controlled by your party. Doesn’t matter if it prints out a “verification” of your personal vote. You know how you voted, yes, but collectively you don’t know that result, once your vote is dumped in with the others, do you?

Electronic voting is the easiest way to steal any election. It’s all in the programming, and that goes out to all machines provided by that company. And if the company has political connections (most do) that makes it even more suspect.

If everything were on the up and up, Badtux, and electronic voting was no more than some fancy calculator, I’d have a different opinion. True: a calculator would tally better. But I think we both know Badtux these machines are much more than that.

Get rid of the proprietary software and make damn sure how and where those votes are tallied, and by what: all out in the open? Again, I might change my opinion. But the companies would never allow that.

Corporations shouldn’t be counting votes, or tallying them. It’s a really bad idea. Govenment has to make laws to limit what corporations can do, how they act. Now we’ve put the fate of government officials in these same hands? Bad idea.

Frankly give me that damn mechanicals. Yeah, they could be rigged. But I’d rather not make it easy for them to do so. That’s what electronic voting does.

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