Monday, September 18, 2006

Voting, Yet Again

The Washington Post has a lengthy article today about how, just maybe, there might be problems with the use of electronic voting devices this fall. And maybe, just maybe, some localities might not have adequate fallback procedures.

My favorite quote from the article is this:
What is clear is that a national effort to improve election procedures six years ago -- after the presidential election ended with ambiguous ballots and allegations of miscounted votes and partisan favoritism in Florida -- has failed to restore broad public confidence that the system is fair.
Well, duh. You don't solve a credibility and accountability problem by hiding the mechanisms behind an opaque, electronic curtain. Secret ballots are important, but once the votes are cast, transparency and openness are vital to public acceptance of the results.

Buried at the end of the article is the fact that despite recommendations that partisan administration of elections be abandoned in favor of nonpartisan means, virtually nowhere has that happened (including here in my home state of California). Elections and voting are too important to be a political football. There should never be a question of partisanship in the administration of elections or the counting of votes. There is already enough political pressure in the election process.

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