Thursday, October 23, 2014

Election Time: Here we go Again

It’s election time again and as seems to be the case each election, there are problems. In Cook County Illinois a voting machine was changing votes for Republicans to a vote for Democrats. The election is actually Tuesday, November 4 but Illinois is one of the states that has early voting.

A Republican candidate, Jim Moynihan, showed up to vote and cast his vote for himself and found that the machine had switched his vote to his opponent. It also switched his vote for other Republican candidates to the Democrat party.

Republicans talk about voter fraud and the need for photo id to register to vote and to vote. Democrats say there is no need as there is no voter fraud. We almost never hear of solutions to voting by machine. I can’t remember there being a case where the Democrat cast vote was switched to the Republican ticket. Maybe it’s happened, but I don’t remember it being reported.

There are questions that naturally should come up from the discovery of this “error” with the voting machine but I didn’t see them asked on the two sites that I read about this story. My first question would be; ‘how many people used that machine before it was discovered and how many of those ballots were cast and then changed by the machine?’ My second question would be; “since these machines are only used at election times, and there aren’t that many elections during a year, why aren’t the machines serviced and tested prior to each election to make certain that they are working properly when they are needed the most?’

Another question; “if a machine, like this one, has a calibration problem, why wasn’t the calibration discovered prior to the election?’ Also, ‘how can we depend on these machines with each and every voter if the machines calibration malfunctions in the midst of a day of voting?’

I have said several times over the years that they should do away with the machines and go to paper and pencil voting. There are only two problems then. Problem number one: The pencil might break. If that happens, get another pencil but at least the pencil isn’t changing the vote.

Problem number two: Finding people that are capable of counting one ballot at a time to get an accurate accounting of the votes. I don’t think it would be that difficult to find eight or ten people that can count to ten and stack up ten votes apiece, in one county.

Maybe the Democrats are partially right. Maybe there is no voter fraud on the part of a person. Perhaps the machines have formed an alliance to commit voter fraud and it’s not the fault of any human being at all. But this phrase keeps popping up in the back of my mind each time I try to think that. “When pigs fly.”

You’re welcome to comment.


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