Electoral awfulness

Notes on how to screw the public, in no particular order.

  • Don’t give the voter a voter-verifiable paper ballot. Make them trust that the voting machine will store their vote accurately and count it according to the will of the voter.
  • Make blind, paraplegic, and illiterate voters take someone in the voting booth with them. Blind and illiterate voters describe two groups of voters that share one thing in common — they can’t read by moving their eyes across the printed ballot. Braille ballots are uncommon and reading a ballot to someone in a voting booth means announcing to the neighboring booths who the illiterate voter chose. Computers can remedy this by reading the ballot to them over headphones, raising areas of a braille display, or allowing the use of alternative input devices like a sip and puff interface (where air is drawn or expelled to move a cursor around a screen and make selections).
  • Give the voter a receipt. Receipts are pieces of paper that describe a transaction in detail. Receipts are given to customers to take with them. Voting is not a purchasing decision and taking a receipt with you is a way to deny people anonymous voting and enable vote trading/buying/bullying. Imagine if a bully knew you were routinely issued a receipt after voting; they would wait outside the polling place and threaten you for proof of your vote.
  • Count the ballots by machine instead of by hand. Machine counting is fast but completely unverifiable. Even if one has free software voting machines scanning errors can turn a winning candidate into a losing candidate. Bev Harris’ BlackBoxVoting.org reveals Diebold’s tabulator secret: a two-digit code can be typed into a Diebold tabulator machine (the machine that counts the votes from all the other machines) to make a modifiable copy of the vote count. This copy will serve as the source of the reported vote totals. The tabulator operator can easily and quickly shift votes from one candidate to another. The audit trail can be erased, removing all evidence that this occurred. Diebold has already sold a lot of these tabulator machines to counties across America.
    The solution: hand count all ballots, even in large districts.
  • Keep the voting age high This way kids, who can be drafted into the military or imprisoned as though they were an adult, cannot choose the leaders that would overturn such policy. And to think that taxation without representation was once viewed as offensive (not anymore, though, right D.C. residents? Oh, wait.).