Election Day

So I decided to go vote. I'm not as well-versed in the candidates than I'd like, and I wasn't keen on the electronic machines, but I thought I'd go ahead anyway. We indeed have a new system in New York. Basically you fill out a bubble-sheet (color in circles on a sheet) to indicate your voting preference. Then you feed the machine into what I have described as the Ballot Disposal Unitâ„¢ — a device that supposedly scans your ballot to determine if it is readable, at which point it is dropped into a storage bin. I have no confidence that my vote was at all counted, and I had no opportunity to confirm that the machine read my choices as intended. I noticed that the machines had a number of simple seals on the door joints to indicate tampering, and some of them were removed or oddly placed.

According to my 2008 write-up, the scanning machines for the election this year are from Sequoia Voting Systems (221 Hopkins Ave., Jamestown) which is now warmly called Dominion Voting Systems, Incorporated. Originally, the machines were intended to display one's intended selections and allow confirmation.

I did a quick Google search for "electronic voting new york" and the titles for the top hits are as follows: "Rough start for electronic voting in New York – Los Angeles Times", "New York electronic voting machines experience problems – Boston.com", "Worries About E-Voting Persist As Primary Looms – City Limits …", "A Host of Monitors Will Watch the City's Electronic Voting‎ – New York Times", "New York Electronic Voting to Be Closely Watched – NYTimes.com", and "U.S. Bars Lab From Testing Electronic Voting – New York Times". Among the concerns of the experts from a sampling of these articles is the fact that up to 10 ballots can be successfully stuffed into the machine at the same time, and the exposed tamper seals can be cut leading to invalidation of all ballots inside. This is a comical joke — and at over $10,000 per machine, a blatant rip-off.

I'll reiterate my concerns from my older article: "what political parties does Sequoia make donations to? Who do they lobby in the Federal government? How much money do they spend on lobbying?" I'm assuming Jamestown is booming at this point, and maintenance fees alone will keep it a boom-town for some time.

One thought on “Election Day

  1. jason, i was also disappointed with the new voting machine. i miss the old booth and little levers. i thought the new machine should have a little shredder attached to the back end.

    i dreamt that you could vote with your iphone. this is the future no doubt.

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