Jul 13 2006
04:03 pm
By: StaceyDiamond

In an unprecedented move there will be no paper ballots allowed with the new machines. Although you can do a write-in on the machine. WHERE IS THE MEDIA ON THIS, I HAVE A FEELING THIS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Either way, its smells worse than Fla. Stacey

rikki's picture

Making us vote on machines

Making us vote on machines whose internal workings are "proprietary" might be unconstitutional, but I'm not sure simple absence of a paper ballot is a violation, especially since the need for paper ballots is obviated by the new machines.

Making people vote on machines with a measurable chance of producing an unusable ballot is probably unconstitutional. We've been tolerating incursions into the principle of fair and honest elections for decades. Objecting to the lack of paper ballots when they are not really needed seems a bit off the mark.

Bbeanster's picture

My 85-year-old mother is

My 85-year-old mother is extremely sharp, but has never used a computer. My 87-year-old father isn't doing as well as she is, health-wise, and has cataracts, to boot. I cannot imagine them trying to use these machines to vote for a write-in candidate. Heck, spelling out those names on that rotary dial thingy looks hard. I think this will intimidate some people into voting for the candidates whose names are on the ballot.

rikki's picture

wimp revolution

Having to ask for a paper ballot intimidates plenty of people, especially the kind of people who don't want anyone to know they might not conform to the norm. I'm sure anyone with the moxie to want to cast a write-in vote can work through the learning process of spinning a dial and hitting the button when it's where you want it.

The gain in weak-willed non-conformists will surely offset the loss in technophobes. Think of all the Walter Mittys emboldened by the privacy of the curtain who never would have had the guts to make an exception of themselves.

Bill Lyons's picture

Another point to consider

Betty makes a good point, and one that certainly would apply to my 84 year old mother. However this is an important flip side to this that leads me to favor the new machines when all things are considered. Under the old system asking for a paper ballot often did remove "secret" from secret ballot. In usual times there will be very few write-in candidates. And most people will opt to file on time after the present chaos is resolved. Thus most of the time any of the election workers and many in the voting area would know, or at least infer with a pretty good chance of being right, that the voter opted for a (or often "the only" write-in candidate). Think of the last city election when asking for a paper ballot telegraphed a vote for Ms. Tucker. Having the ability to vote for a write-in on the machine is a real positive for the integrity of the ballot. I don't think there is anything remotely unconstitutional about not providing paper ballots and understand the decision to avoid them this time. I did the practice today and found it very intuitive. However I do think a few folks will need help, especially if they want to use the write-in option.
Number9's picture

I think this will intimidate

I think this will intimidate some people into voting for the candidates whose names are on the ballot.

I don't think you are the first person to consider that. A skeptical person might think this is by design. Wonder if that is why there are no paper ballots?

Scott1202's picture

I called the state election

I called the state election commission to complain. They had 3 responses.

#1. <Yawn>

#2. Why would anyone want a paper ballot when you have such cool new machines with all the shiny doodle-ma-bobs on them?

#3 <yawn>

Anonymous's picture

Yeah, paper ballots

Yeah, paper ballots rock.

This country has never had a disputed election when paper ballots were used. (extreme sarcasm intended)

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