Electrons and Voteons

The big day in Ohio… It is rare when Presidential candidates are not already selected by the time our primary election occurs.  This year, all eyes are watching to see whether Mr. Obama will continue his 11-state streak and knock Mrs. Clinton out of the race, or whether she’ll be the comeback kid, and hang on to fight another day.  

I’m very proud of The Girl, driving home late last night (with a ton of pre-final exam academic pain hanging over her head) so she could get up early and vote.  The Boy will be able to vote in the general election in November – and is jazzed about the opportunity.  i can relax, knowing that my offspring have internalized that ‘civic duty’ thing*….

For those who blame remember Ohio as the state that determined the outcome of the 2004 Presidential election, we went another round today with electronic touchscreen voting.  Although there are ridiculous, overblown conspiracy theories regarding what really happened in Ohio during the 2004 election, credible investigative journalists (most notably Greg Palast) provided a reasonable case to call into question the outcome of that election…

In short, it’s likely that the votes not counted in 2004 – “spoilage” ballots** – would have made the race much closer, if not given the win to Mr. Kerry. 

Being an uber-geek, i’ve been tracking this issue pretty closely – not just from a procedural, but from a technological point of view.  The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) – one of the largest, independent professional technical societies in the world – felt this issue was of sufficient concern to stimulate research interest in the area, with papers from several symposia captured and published in a book.  The intent was to pre-emptively tackle the standards and security issues and assure that the ‘chad backlash’ against paper ballots from the 2000 election did not lead to an equally flawed electronic approach.

In any case,  i think i voted today…



* perhaps it’s been the past 7 years of me screaming at the television every time my Commander-In-Chief appears on the tube that has inspired their civic interests?  To keep me from stroking out?

** “spoilage” includes provisional ballots cast under the cloud of new identification requirements, and ballots cast in urban precincts, which encountered more cases of “irregularities” with the new voting contraptions than other precincts.


8 thoughts on “Electrons and Voteons

  1. I don’t care who the candidates are, I’m voting for Micky Mouse. And why don’t they give us pins anymore? I only get a piece of crap sticker that don’t even stick all that well.

    Maybe I will sell my vote on e-bay instead. Just a thought.

  2. Back in Canada I often used to spoil my ballot (by voting for everybody) when there was nobody I wanted to vote for, as the spoiled ballots were counted and usually considered to be personal protests. I just didn’t want to be counted among the apathetic who couldn’t be bothered to vote.

    As a legal resident in Spain I can vote for local city council but not for anything else – I’d have to change my nationality to do that and I’m not ready to give up my Canadian passport for that privilege, just in case I ever want to become an international spy.

  3. uw – Mickey would be at least a non-hypocritical rodent…

    kyknoord – anything is better than our current Bozon.

    az – clever. my daughter and i were considering doing a write-in tax levy, but didn’t want to be cast in the spoilage. Nice that Spain lets you vote locally!

  4. not to mention that experts showed congress how ridiculously easy they are to hack…no worries…but i would like the illusion of free elections once in a while…

  5. uber-geek, IEEE… stop… with language like that you’re bound to get people excited… they will be spoling their ballots right and centre (assumption: no left in America). Not that that is any great shake, I spoil my ballot daily, sometimes twice!

  6. tony – i know that there’s less mucking around in the local elections, so i get out there and vote for every levy under the sun. ‘tax the rich, feed the poor, till there ain’t no rich no more…” (bonus points to all my hippie friends for naming the song – without google!)

    uncle keith – and tax the wagering to pay for schools! just like the lottery!

    beaverboosh – congratulations! ‘spoil’ early and often – keeps the system working properly!

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