You Can Still Vote with Paper, But Nobody is Going to Tell You That, and You’ll be Treated Like a Second Class Citizen

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Ok, this isn’t really about the Internet, but it is about technology, and it’s important, and hey, it’s my site, so I’ll cry if I want to (oops, wrong song).

Many, many counties in the country are going to, or indeed, have already gone, to electronic voting. A large number of voters on Tuesday will be confronted with electronic polling machines, many for the very first time.


Some machines provide a paper trail, in the form of a printed receipt memorializing your choices. (Aunty wonders whether they are in code, or whether this means that the poll volunteer could see how you voted, which of course is an issue of a different colour.)

Some machines do not provide any paper trail.

Some voters not only want a paper trail, but, by golly, they don’t want electronic voting at all, being perfectly content with paper ballots.

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In California, those counties which have moved to electronic machines have agreed to make available paper “provisional” ballots for those voters who prefer paper to pixels.

However, several of the counties have decided that they will not actually tell voters that they have that option. Worse, at least three counties, Alameda, Merced, and San Bernardino, have decided that voters who have the temerity to request a paper ballot will have their vote treated as if they were unregistered! That means that they will have to sign their ballot (blowing all secrecy of their vote), and then have their eligibility and registration verified, and then their votes will not be counted until all the other votes are counted.

Are we the only ones who thinks that this is just plain wrong?

 

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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2 thoughts on “You Can Still Vote with Paper, But Nobody is Going to Tell You That, and You’ll be Treated Like a Second Class Citizen

  1. Man, that is crazy! clearly very wrong.

    BTW the usual way to do a VVAT for an e-voting machine is to print out a receipt listing the vote, keep it behind a plastic screen, and dump it into a bin collecting those receipts. that way the voter can see the receipt, but not take it away to show the hired muscle on the corner and get their $20 (or whatever they problem scenario is).

    –j. (proud member and helper of ICTE, who have temporarily defeated DRE voting machines in Ireland ;)

  2. Ok, this isn’t really about the Internet, but it is about technology, and it’s important, and hey, it’s my site, so I’ll cry if I want to (oops, wrong song). Many many counties in the country are going to, or…

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