Monday, November 03, 2014

Voting Machines

I note with some amusement, this article over at Hot Air that claims that states are leaving electronic voting machines in droves.  The author, Buzz Shaw, is fairly skeptical, because he can't find any list of states that are switching.
The major question I have about this report is the lack of specific examples. I’ve heard of a number of states who were discussing it (which was actually already in full swing back in 2008) but a detailed list of those who officially made the move seems hard to come by. The major deciding factor for making the switch, though, was a bit surprising to me. Many states using the new technology have machines which are a decade or more old and in need of updates or repair and they just don’t have the money for the upkeep. Conversely, the old mechanical lever machines like the ones we used in New York until well into the 2000s required only basic routine maintenance and checks and seemed to go on forever like the energizer bunny.
When I began voting in the early '70s, Louisiana used the old mechanical machines, and at some time in the past we switched to the electronic machines, which I never trusted.  It seems that those machines are susceptible to "calibration errors", like the machines recently in Chicago.
The worst of the new machines are the ones without a paper trail, and they are still in use in places like Chicago. In Cook County, for example, one machine was found to be mysteriously changing Republican votes to the Democrat, though that was later found to just be a … *cough* calibration error. Fortunately, those types of machines seem to be in the minority.
Yeah, that's what Louisiana uses, and what I'll be using tomorrow morning.  Calibration errors indeed.  That does wonders for my confidence in our electoral processes.

One wag in the past said that when Louisiana switched from mechanical machines, to electronic machines, they sold all the mechanical machines to a small banana republic is South America.  After the first national election, they found that Edwin Edwards had won by a landslide.  Go Figure.

Regardless of what kind of machine you use, go vote tomorrow.  It's important.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

That it is, and I'd check my vote before hitting the confirm button... I voted absentee, so I got a PAPER ballot...