How should we vote?

How should we vote?

Personally I am in favor of electronic voting machines. I think that there are too many advantages from electronic voting machines for us to continue to vote like cave men. My own preference is for the usage of electronic voting machines with the machine producing a paper trail that could be used to validate the electronic results reported in the event of a need for a recount.

Some opponents of electronic voting machines have pointed to the usage of optically scanned paper ballots as being preferable. Their reasoning is that the results would be less subject to tampering and that even a hand recount of ballots originally scanned should yield the same results.

But look at what is going on up in Minnesota right now. (See here) where the weeklystandard.com reports that there are problems with optically scanned paper ballots. What happens when the optical scanner will not accept the ballot for one reason or another? Minnesota had a plan for that and the plan was a pretty good one. However the plan created called for human action and human error was introduced into the process.

Some are calling for a re-vote. (See here) an LA Times piece that mentions the possibility. Personally I think the Franken campaign will never agree to such a thing. Many Franken voters were motivated to go to the polls only by the chance to vote for Barack Obama for President and they only cast votes for Franken because they were already there anyway. He'd have a strong case to be made that the official election day results are the ones that should matter. Without Obama's coattails to ride on, victory is not going to be his.

Let me state that I do not have a horse in this race. I do not really like either of the candidates. Coleman might have only achieved victory back in 2002 due to the death of his incumbent opponent, Paul Wellstone, in a plane crash while campaigning. What I know about Al Franken (other then his being a comic I am not particularly enamored with) comes from his stint on Air America where the political left tried to mirror image right wing radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh. I will admit that Al Franken was probably one of the better Air America hosts, but it is not too hard to be the cream of the crop when you are trying to rise above garbage.

But back to my original point. Electronic voting machines that automatically produce a paper ballot for recounts are the way to go. These paper ballots could be produced in such a way that they could be optically scanned with a fallback of human counting of imperfect ballots which were soiled or torn preventing their scanning.

The problems with optically scanned ballots is being proven to us in real life.


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