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Voting Machine Problem Reports Already Rolling In 386

Several readers have submitted news of the inevitable problems involved with trying to securely collect information from tens of millions of people on the same day. A video is making the rounds of a touchscreen voting machine registering a vote for Mitt Romney when Barack Obama was selected. A North Carolina newspaper is reporting that votes for Romney are being switched to Obama. Voters are being encouraged to check and double-check that their votes are recorded accurately. In Ohio, some recently-installed election software got a pass from a District Court Judge. In Galveston County, Texas, poll workers didn't start their computer systems early enough to be ready for the opening of the polls, which led to a court order requiring the stations to be open for an extra two hours at night. Yesterday we discussed how people in New Jersey who were displaced by the storm would be allowed to vote via email; not only are some of the emails bouncing, but voters are being directed to request ballots from a county clerk's personal Hotmail account. If only vote machines were as secure as slot machines. Of course, there's still the good, old fashioned analog problems; workers tampering with ballots, voters being told they can vote tomorrow, and people leaving after excessively long wait times.
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Voting Machine Problem Reports Already Rolling In

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  • I live in a small town outside San Francisco. It seems that two local districts vote in the place I went this morning, so a guy at the door routed voters to table A or table B depending on our street addresses. The problem was that competing teams of little-old-lady election volunteers were engaged in a turf war over who "owned" which voting booths. When I got my ballot from table A, the booths closest to it were occupied and the volunteers directed my wife and I to the ones nearer table B.

    You would have thought I had peed all over the table B volunteers' Thanksgiving turkey.

    Little Old Lady: Sir? Sir! These are for table B! You're supposed to use the booths over by table A!
    Me: Umm, is there a difference?
    LOL: Yes! These are for table B! If they're all filled up, table B people won't be able to vote!
    Me: Well, table A's booths are all filled up and I'd like to vote, too.
    LOL, whining and angry: But these are for table B!

    Man. Hell hath no wrath like the elderly women proudly doing their quadrennial duties.

  • Re:Stupid. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @08:34PM (#41901913)
    How does a blind person cast a private and secret ballot?
  • by Straif ( 172656 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @09:40PM (#41902391) Homepage

    So your theory is that a network that even in it's highest rated time slot only gets around 3 million viewers is somehow able to single handedly force a partisan divide in a nation of 350 million? That would be akin to me blaming the dumbing down of America on MSNBC.

    I'm pretty sure the divide is being driven by people who think Fox news is the biggest threat to democracy and the source of all political doom in the US or for that matter focus on any single media source as the cause. The cause is much more widespread and has more to do with the fact that we live in a world where people feel the need to share their views 24/7 for every little thing in their lives, and much less to do with what 1 television station chooses to play.

    For the record, Fox news is the #1 CABLE news channel which places them far behind any of the big three networks news coverage. ABC, CBS and NBC average 22 million viewers for their evening broadcast while FOX News averages about 1.9million (that's about half of 1% of the US). For some special occasions like the debates FOX occasionally beats even the networks but that is a very rare occurrence. In some extreme partisan minds the fact that an opposing viewpoint gets even that small sliver of airtime is enough to get them all worked up but that's more a reflection of them and much less an issue with Fox News.

  • Re:Online Voting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Imagix ( 695350 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @09:44PM (#41902425)
    Canada solved this too. People must have 4 consecutive hours available to vote. So if the polling stations are open from 7 AM to 8 PM, the employer could require the employee to leave at 4 PM (to allow for 4-8 PM), or arrive at 11 AM (to allow for 7-11 AM).

"Pull the wool over your own eyes!" -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs