20 Nov 2004

Elections we can trust

I found this image in the back of Wired magazine this weekend, and I thought this was a great idea.

I am very concerned about the lack of confidence that many Americans have in the current electoral system. I live in Alameda county, where we had touch screen poll machines with no paper printout and no optical scan ballots as mandated by our Secretary of State. There are five major types of voting systems used across the country, with several companies producing each, and each state deciding its own standards. This lack of standardization leads to confusion and mistrust.


This week John Kerry wrote to everybody on his email list :
I will fight for a national standard for federal elections that has both transparency and accountability in our voting system. It’s unacceptable in the United States that people still don’t have full confidence in the integrity of the voting process.

We cannot have elections where no matter which side wins, nobody trusts the count. We need national standards, national funding for uniform voting equipment, regular audits and complete transparency. I think electronic voting systems are great, they are accessible and easy to use, but there needs to be a verifiable paper printout and the systems should be open sourced.

I like this image because it gives us a real, tangible goal. Elections need to be reliable and valid in every way, and this is a glimpse into what could be. I would like to ask everyone in the community here to let me know what you think about the current voting system. Send in stories, experiences, thoughts and what you believe elections in America should be. Please keep this discussion positive and proactive; let’s discuss the issues and find solutions together.

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