Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Write-in Choice: Paper Recorded Ballot

Want to send a message to unsatisfactory candidates whose names appear on the Primary ballot? Use the write-in option and vote another candidate whose name doesn't appear on the ballot for the contest, or if there is nobody that meets your specs, vote None of the Above as a write-in choice.

Want to send a message to election officials who chose wholly electronic voting systems and who have yet to see the usefulness of hand-marked ballots that provide a record in ink in the event a recount is ordered?

Want those election officials to adopt paper ballots as a voter choice of voting system at the polling place in the Primary or General Elections?

if you are displeased with only one choice of voting system when you show up in person to cast a vote at the polling place, under a contest between candidates you intend to leave blank, or under-vote, use the write-in feature on the electronic voting machine to write-in a choice for inclusion of paper ballots.

In a Friday, May 19, 2006 piece online, PA Voters' Dirty Write-In Votes & a Better Idea, Joyce McCloy of Black Box Voting.com makes several recommendations to send just such a message.

Put the "write in" feature to good use. Why not write in your "vote" for one of these candidates (especially in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida or anywhere that the lawmakers and election officials refuse to listen to the voters) :

-voterverified paperballots
-noproof notruth
-no vaporballots
-paper ballots

If enough people write in the same thing, for the same contest, your candidate, "No Vaporballots" might win.

Regardless, your write-in vote will be counted, and then the media can report something that actually IS newsworthy - that the voters do not want paperless voting. Count those write ins if you don't believe us!

If "voterverified paperballots" got 2,000 votes in a small contest, it might win!


Rather than the above, might we suggest a very clear message "paper recorded ballot."

While many election officials (who tout electronic method of marking a ballot) have actually argued the electronic marked direct recording machines (called DREs) can print-out on paper each electronically cast ballot, there is actually no way for anyone to determine whether the voter indeed actually made the selection recorded in data stored in an internal memory area.

Nobody can determine whether what is stored on a memory card for instance was tampered with and so if what officials print out from the DRE has in some way been tampered with, nobody will ever know.

However, with a paper ballot, hand-marked by the voter, and the optical-scan system used to scan the ballot for counting (the system also enables second-chance voting in case of error or voter changes) the actual "record" of the voted ballot is the paper ballot.

In the event of a recount - there is something visible to recount. A paper ballot.

That's not to say a wholly paper ballot system cannot be tampered with. It can be. Memory cards can be tampered with. Ballots themselves can be manufactured or created anew and inserted into the optical scan machines.

That's why the chain of custody for paper ballots must be as clean and visible or transparent as possible.

That's why the state of Minnesota is in the position it is with the contest between Norm Coleman and Al Franken.

The chain of custody there during the recount was horrendous.

The entire state uses paper ballots, but not all precincts used precinct scanners.

There were enough questionable delivery of absentee ballots there to warrant a complete investigation yet no investigation was done.

yet in comparison to wholly electronic voting systems, the paper ballot with optical scanner as a choice for the voter can have safeguards built-in, if only election officials would allow that choice.

Many don't so if you want that choice you might want to write it in this next election in areas of the ballot you intend to leave blank anyway.

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