Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day - 2006

So Maryland now has touch screen voting. It's quick, easy and was a very nice experience in casting my vote. It also scares the crap out of me as we have no record of our actual vote.

I guess that's the end of contested elections and we can all just sit back and accept whatever the results are after the election. I mean polls are never wrong, so we all know who was going to win anyway, so don't worry about the validity of the system.

Also they don't really confirm who the hell is voting. So if you know your neighbor hasn't vote, go back later and vote again. They make you sign a piece of paper, but just make sure you sign right handed.

So when the results come back and one candidate gets 75%, we should just accept it.

Why is the hue and cry over no audit trial, more like a slight whimper.

I don't understand how we can go down this path quietly.

Maybe I do to a certain extent. I was an auditor for my first career and if it was printed out by a computer everyone assumed it must be right. I would actually add up columns on these printouts and have people think I was nuts. I once found that the columns did not add up correctly. What was wrong was an internal coding problem that left some of the rows out of the bottom total (old time computer programing). So just because it is printed or on a computer, doesn't mean it's right.

Another reason for the lack of concern is the general apathy that people have. The world is so big and complex, what does any of it matter. At least I get that attitude from some people.

I think we are at the beginning of the end of Western Civilization, but I will rage against the storm until my dying breath. I will not go gentle into the good night, I will go down kicking and screaming. With real leadership and people of courage and conviction we can still turn things around. Never, never give up!

Let's see how this election plays out and see how many losing candidates get upset over the results.


  1. The liberal media cracks me up. Today the headlines read, "Hilary leads Dems in romp over GOP". It goes on to say that angry voters were telling the Repubs off for Iraq and scandals. What?!?! This was a 6 year election where history has shown that the out of power party usually does very well. I think the gov't works better when the Congress is of a different party than the Prez, but in these times of political bickering and playground politics I think this does not bode well for we US citizens. The dems will take over the Congress and then out of spite will make Bush a lame duck. That means 2 full years where nothing gets done and the country continues it's slide into the toilet. We need help here you gov't guys! How bout doing something that benefits all America for a change instead of this constant in-fighting?

  2. Jim - how would one go about protesting the new voting? I'm not happy with this no paper trail route either, but do we start a petition, write to our senators or what?

  3. Cshiana - A petition drive would be a good thing. See if Florida allows something to be put on the ballot as a referandum question and then find out how to get signatures to put it on the ballot.

  4. For whatever reason my comment yesterday didn't get posted, so here I go again.

    What makes you want a paper trail now with touch screen voting when you never had one before? In Baltimore County, the previous system was the optical scanners where you had a black marker and colored in the arrow to indicate who you wanted. That was then scanned by a machine and the paper left behind. You did not leave with a piece of paper showing who you voted for. The old lever machines did not give you a piece of paper. The older still paper ballots did not leave you walking out with a piece of paper. So why, suddenly, is a piece of paper so important to some voters?

    If you had a piece of paper to take with you that showed your votes, what good would it do? How would it prevent fraud? If there was some issue at a polling place, would the board of elections contact everyone who was supposed to have come in to vote that day to bring back their piece of paper to show their vote? What's to prevent fraud in that? How do you maintain the secret ballot if you do that?

    Having worked the polls as an election judge two years ago, I'm of the opinion that the touch screen voting is a security improvement over the previous systems. There's no way to tamper with them while a voter is using the machine because there's no keyboard or other controling device a voter can use while standing there. If they bring their own, it'll be pretty obvious. So the opportunity for fraud is after the polls close, but there are judges from both parties present to prevent just that sort of tampering. Furthermore, it's a lot more difficult to break into the machines, reprogram them to show votes other than those that were cast and get out clean than it was to simply substitute a box of paper ballots or lever marks in the old days.

    On a separate matter, can we just let the tired old "liberal media" tirades go for a little while? First off, there's no particular media cited, so it's just a general broadside with no evidence. I know the Baltimore Sun certainly didn't have the headline, though it's usually viewed by the whiny right as a standard of the "liberal media". Maybe it was the Washington Post, which endorsed Ehrlich for governor? So liberal. Maybe it was the New York Times. Of course, being as Clinton was running for senator in NY, it wouldn't make any sense at all for a NY paper to lead with a headline about the state's leading Democrat winning and helping other Democrats in the state to win. That would just be political hackery. (I think I just made up a new word.)

    I'll give the GOP credit for efficiency. It took the Democrats 40 years or more to hack off the electorate enough to be tossed out of power in Congress in '94 (which, by the way, was not part of the claimed 6 year trend, as it was only the second year of the Clinton Admnistration). The GOP managed to piss people off to that degree in only 12 years.

  5. Thomm - We had an audit trial before and we don't now, so why don't you want an audit trial? Also they used to ask for ID when you voted.

    I find your other tirade amusing and I find it hard to have to defend the right, but if you don't think the Sun is bias, then you are living in a dream world. They backed Cardin citing a need for two party government and then they backed O'Malley and never address why one party government is good for the state and not the federal government. Also they never mentioned that they had lawsuits with Ehrlich.

  6. They didn't ask for your ID?? They asked for ours down here....

  7. They asked for mine, too. At my poll in Baltimore Co people were presenting either a drivers license or voter card. It seemed more like a thing to make it easy for the election judge to look up the voter than a requirement to vote, though.

    What are you talking about in regards to an audit trail? Please define the term.

    I didn't say the Sun doesn't have a liberal bias. I said the attack on "the media" was vague and demagogic. I cited the Sun as not having the headline attributed to all media in the original post. I agree that the Sun tends toward the liberal. On the other hand, I don't see that as a bad thing. I want my media to be critical of government, which is what liberal tends to be. Conservative supports the status quo and tends to either not question the government or actively ratify it. Forget the left/right dichotomy of the political spectrum in this instance. Few institutions were more conservative than the Communist Party of the USSR, which desperately clung to the status quo of its time.

    The Sun is liberal in the sense that it advocates for the little guy over the large institution, be it government, religion or business. They may not be looking too far ahead when they advocate their position, so it's not really all that tenable in the long term, but the cause of the individual is almost always their benchmark.

    "The media", however, runs the gammut. On one extreme there are your Air Americas. On the other, Fox News. In the print media there are even more diverse outlooks, particularly if smaller, local papers like the Afro-American or City Paper are included.

    Sure, The Sun makes mistakes and budget cuts sure haven't helped. But it beats the hell out of fishwrap like The Examiner which can't seem to devote more than 6 paragraphs to any one story.

  8. Thomm - Audit trail = Votes can be reconted by hand.

    The rest of you statement is way off the mark. I consider myself to be a fiscal conservative, but to equate conservatism to maintaining the status quo is flat out wrong.

    As for the Sun, of course they back the big players. They back bigger and bigger government. They are not this wonderful bastion of free speech that you think they are, they only tolerate Gregory Kane because he is black. The Sun is a paper that I won't even read anymore as it is so slated as to not be worth the paper it is printed on. I'd rather go to the Washington Post or Wall Street Journal for newspaper news.


    I am confused as to what headline you are talking about.

  9. Thomm - You were talking about what Jeff said - he is from Jersey, so we probably missed that headline.

  10. Two days in a row the New York Daily News has a very liberal front page. Today's was a pic of Geroge Bush with his hand on Rummy's shoulder escorting him out of the oval office. The Daily News put the words, "And don't let it hit you in the ass" in a word bubble over Bush's head. What crap!! Bush had nothing but praise for Rummy. How I miss an objective media.

  11. Jeff - I wonder why the media has lost all most of its objectivity?