The Oddest Op-Ed On VBM versus Touch Screens Ever

From the Oregon Statesman Journal, comes the oddest letter to the editor ever. In the letter the author calls for the return to poll based voting, which is less vulnerable to fraud than vote by mail… which I agree with. But then calls for a return to voting machines made by ATM manufacturers, because, well ATM manufacturers must be able to secure money so they should be able to secure the vote.

Heck it makes sense to me! Except that Diebold, the biggest name in the voting machine business, and the one that launched the movement to oppose electronic voting machines, actually does manufacture ATMs.

But I don’t blame the author really, the person is simply concerned with voting integrity. It’s more a statement of the times really, voting activism is a fragmented group of individuals, experts more in the problems than the solutions. And this blog is an example of that same problem. It is far easier to be an expert in a “problem” than in the solution.

I, for one, support Precinct Based Optical Scan Ballots that retain a traditional poll site and a traditional polling day. I also support publicly owned open sourced software, and proper hand auditing of paper ballots against machine totals at the precinct level, and I  support the move to make voting day a national holiday. And that’s just a few of the reforms that are needed.

It is my aim to spend more time working towards solutions than I have in the past as a voting activist, because until we as activists can all rally around some reasonable and rational solutions, the general public will continue to be confused. The first step to solving our national voting nightmare is to come together as activists, left and right, and come up with a plan we can agree on.

Many races around the country still too close to call

As the country moves increasingly to forced vote by mail systems, many races this year remain too close to call more than a week after this year’s election.

In Creswell Oregon, Election Director Annette Newingham, had this to say to the local paper:

Read the Full Story

“Oregon’s vote-by-mail system is easy for the voters, but labor intensive on this end,” explained Newingham. “We must determine the voter’s intent and verify each signature.”

The race in question? A general bond, with about 3000 total votes cast! So with Oregon’s Vote-By Mail system, it takes um… almost 2 weeks to count 3000 votes.

And in other news…

In the State of Montana, a local race with just under 4000 votes ended in a tie today. 10 days after the election was held.

Vote by mail and it can take 2 weeks to count 4000 votes.