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Using Crowdsourcing To Design More Accessible Elections 147

Posted by samzenpus
from the two-votes-are-better-than-one dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. Election Assistance Commission is sponsoring an online, open innovation challenge to search for creative answers to the question: 'How might we design an accessible election experience for everyone?' The goal is to develop ideas for how to make elections more accessible to everyone, especially people with disabilities."
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Using Crowdsourcing To Design More Accessible Elections

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  • by Neil_Brown (1568845) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @03:00PM (#38936667) Homepage
    Finally, a positive news story.
  • Easy is easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @03:02PM (#38936689)

    What is much harder is to make it both easy to vote and make it difficult to cast a fraudulent vote. Preventing fraud is an important consideration as more and more elections in the US are decided by razor thin margins, well within the margin of being decided by fairly trivial fraud.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScentCone (795499)

      and make it difficult to cast a fraudulent vote

      Especially when special interests say that even being asked to present a photo ID at your poling place is racist vote suppression. Hard to fight THAT sort of nonsense.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by spire3661 (1038968)
        Its not as much nonsense as you make it out to be. Look at the statistics for low income families and their ability to get proper identification.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          The states that want identification to vote are usually giving away free identification in-order to avoid being label as being anti-poor or having a "polling tax." If the poor don't have time to get a free ID during some part of the year, I don't think I want them voting.

          We don't need more voter we need better informed ones regardless of the number of voters.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            They aren't giving it away. You still have to provide numerous documentation, which makes for an onerous requirement for some, especially the elderly.

        • Identification Cards should be provided for Free (once per year) and paid for by taxes. This does not mean free DL's.

          Ensuring that a person voting is a citizen should not be such a problem. After all, the very people you say it will cause an issue for manage to get a lot of other things that require identification such as bank accounts, rental accounts, vehicles, and rental property.

          If you lack the capability to obtain identification in today's society then I would submit that such a person should not be

          • by SETIGuy (33768)

            Identification Cards should be provided for Free (once per year) and paid for by taxes.

            And if a person has moved since their free ID card was provided they lose their right to vote? How about people that don't have an address? Do they lose their right to vote? How about students? What address does their ID say? Do they have any choice in where they vote? How about people whose birth certificate has errors, or the electronic record for their birth has errors. Who pays the price for rectifying those

        • Its not as much nonsense as you make it out to be. Look at the statistics for low income families and their ability to get proper identification.

          Here are some interesting statistics:

          Not a Race Card [nationalreview.com]

          American University found that less than one-half of 1 percent of registered voters in Maryland, Indiana, and Mississippi lacked a government-issued ID. A 2006 survey of more than 36,000 voters found that only 23 people in the entire sample would be unable to vote because of an ID requirement. . . . .

          The weakness of the case against voter ID has been much in evidence in courtrooms. The Indiana and Georgia voter-ID laws were upheld by state and federal cou

      • Good point. The best you can do is to get the facts out and try to make a good argument.

        Not a Race Card [nationalreview.com]

        Voter ID Is Not Jim Crow [nationalreview.com]

        • by SETIGuy (33768)
          Are you actually using National Review lies as a source? Way to tag yourself as a tool of the Republican party.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Stone Rhino (532581)

        Individual voter fraud is extremely rare. The sort of fraud that would be prevented by photo ID is almost nonexistent. [brennancenter.org] On the other hand, the requirement to obtain a photo ID excludes a nontrivial percentage of the population, and creates an additional burden that falls disproportionately on poor and/or nonwhite voters [businessweek.com]. Voters who usually vote democratic, making this a partisan issue.

        Much more likely than fraud by individuals is a systematic effort to exclude voters unlikely to vote for your party, and t

        • Where I live there are buses that pick up homeless / projects residents, and then go from precinct to precinct voting.

        • Fraud? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by CapOblivious2010 (1731402) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @06:01PM (#38937751)
          I don't know how prevalent individual voter fraud is.... but I've always been a little skeptical of the claim that it's nearly non-existent, since our current election procedures are incapable of detecting it.

          In other news, I've discovered that there's no such thing as poor people, because if I close my eyes real tight when riding through downtown I never see any poor people - so clearly there aren't any!
          • by gmhowell (26755)

            I make essentially no effort to prevent elephants from entering my living room, yet it turns out they are still not there.

            • 1) You may make no effort to prevent them, but at least you have a procedure in place to detect them

              2) I doubt elephants have much incentive to invade your living room

              Your analogy is 0 for 2: FAIL!
      • Voter-ID (Score:4, Informative)

        by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @05:44PM (#38937659)

        special interests

        You need to drill down into the history behind the issue. Conservatives are easier to motivate to vote, and almost only vote Republican. Groups that are easy to discourage (young, black, poor) tend to overwhelmingly vote Democrat. High turn-out elections favour Democrats, low turn-out elections favour Republicans.

        Hence the Republican powers-that-be tend to (quite rightly) see voter registration drives, "Rock The Vote", "Vote or Die", as a pro-Democrat mechanism. So they push back by making voting more difficult. Hell, I saw a conservative editorial recently describing voter-registration drives and anything that encourages voting as "anti-democratic".

        Hence the push for voter-ID systems. And it polls well with non-Republicans, as an anti-fraud measure, making it easy to hide their real intent. (Along with less publicised anti Voter Registration Drive measures, like making it effectively illegal to hand out voter registration forms, etc.)

        Here in Australia, we have mandatory voting (well, mandatory turning-up-and-getting-your-name-crossed-off, you can still leave your ballot blank). There's a $50 fine for non-voting, although it's apparently easy to get out of. And we have over 95% turnout at Federal and State elections. The left-wing party supports mandatory voting, the right-wing party opposes it. For exactly the same reasons, and with each using exactly the same poll-friendly lies to defend their positions.

        This is all part of the long and nasty history of efforts to keep the "wrong" group from voting.

        • by ScentCone (795499)
          You're over-thinking this. The urge by (often conservative) lawmakers to have their local elections only available to legitimately registered, living local people who will only be voting once, as themselves, is a response to large, organized operations by highly politicized (and avowedly left-leaning, we-don't-like-Republicans) groups that have a habit of conducting massive registration fraud. Conducting it, tolerating it, encouraging it, and sometimes getting in deep legal trouble for doing so.

          Republica
          • by SETIGuy (33768)
            How does that Fox News koolaid taste?
            • by ScentCone (795499)
              I don't know! What's it like to make spurious, adolescent ad hominem snarks, knowing that that's your only method of saying anything without actually addressing the substance of the matter? I mean, I appreciate your tacit acknowledgement of the underlying issue, which is the routine submission of thousands of fraudulant voter registrations by activist groups, and the inevitability that some of those are connected to actual fraudulant votes. I'm sure it probably is maddening to you that not everyone hushes u
        • Not a Race Card [nationalreview.com]

          The baseless claim that voter ID is a Republican plot to depress the votes of minorities, who disproportionately support Democrats, certainly isn’t made by those Democrats who overwhelmingly control the Rhode Island legislature that passed voter ID. State representative Jon Brien, a Democratic sponsor of the bill, said it was wrong for party leaders to “make this a Republican-versus-Democrat issue. It’s not. It’s simply a good-government issue.” Brien added that

    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday February 05, 2012 @03:19PM (#38936797)

      Ballot stuffing (or even voting two or more times) is very rare.
      So rare as to be a non-issue. Despite claims to the contrary.

      Most attempts at "fixing" the "voter fraud" issue are really aimed at making it more difficult for people to vote. They have to jump through more hoops so they might not be able to afford it in time or money (or both). Meanwhile, the people with the extra time and money CAN jump through the hoops (after all, they determined what those hoops would be). So the only "legit" voters are the people who are already prosperous under the existing system.

      So it is just a way to maintain the status quo.

      Anyway, on to improving the system.

      1. How about extending "election day" to more than a single day?

      2. And how about including a national holiday in that period? Move Presidents Day so that it falls in the middle of "Voting Week". Or the end. Or the beginning. Or even on "Election Day" if you don't want to add more days. Yay! Holiday! Get out and VOTE!

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        "Ballot stuffing (or even voting two or more times) is very rare.
        So rare as to be a non-issue. Despite claims to the contrary."

        Except, of course, when it isn't. LBJ would have never held office, had it not been for ballot box stuffing. And he's not the only one.

        There's a persistent pattern, in a number of states, of early returns providing a clear advantage to one party, and that advantage holding until all but a very few precincts return, and then those precincts not returning for hours after the other p

      • by cold fjord (826450) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @04:12PM (#38937135)

        Ballot stuffing (or even voting two or more times) is very rare.
        So rare as to be a non-issue. Despite claims to the contrary.

        Sorry, but you are quite simply wrong about that.

        . . . two Troy city officials, the city clerk and a councilman, along with two Democratic political operatives, have pled guilty to forging absentee-ballot signatures and casting fraudulent ballots in the 2009 Working Families Party primary. The WFP is the political party associated with ACORN.

        One of the citizens whose votes were stolen was stunned at what happened. She said that she was “sure this goes on a lot in politics, but it’s very rare that they do get caught.” This voter was right on the money with that observation — fraud is so easy to commit in our election system that it is rare that fraudsters get caught and even rarer that they get prosecuted.

        . . . one of the Democratic operatives who pled guilty, Anthony DeFiglio, told New York State police investigators “that faking absentee ballots was a commonplace and accepted practice in political circles, all intended to swing an election.” And whose votes do they steal? DeFiglio was very plain about that: “The people who are targeted live in low-income housing, and there is a sense that they are a lot less likely to ask any questions.”

        That is exactly what former Alabama congressman Artur Davis said recently when he admitted that he was wrong to oppose voter-ID requirements. Davis says the “most aggressive” voter suppression “is the wholesale manufacture of ballots, at the polls and absentee, in parts of the Black Belt” of Alabama, which is an area of very poor black communities. These are the very areas where the NAACP claims voter fraud does not happen. The NAACP opposes all reasonable measures to safeguard the voting process for its own constituents, even going to the extent of defending vote stealers, as the NAACP did in Greene County, Ala., in the mid-1990s. Small wonder one of its local officials was recently sentenced to five years in prison for voter fraud in Tunica County, Mississippi. - Yes, Virginia, There Really Is Voter Fraud [nationalreview.com]

        And more . . .

        In contrast, a subsequent media analysis showed that at least 2000 votes were cast illegally in Florida in the 2000 presidential election. Since the margin of victory in Florida was 537 votes, the fraudulent votes were sufficient to affect the outcome of the election.

        That’s not an isolated example. Evidence adduced at various commission hearings suggests numerous instances of actual voter fraud. The cases involve organizations and individuals who register ineligible voters, dead people, and fictional characters. In an infamous Ohio case during the 2004 presidential election campaign, a canvasser paid with crack cocaine registered Dick Tracy, Mary Poppins, and scores of other equally noteworthy characters.

        Again, these aren’t isolated cases. A major 2001 voter registration drive in St. Louis’s black community produced 3,800 new voter cards. When some of the names appeared suspicious, elections officials investigated all of the cards and determined that every single one was fraudulent. Dogs, the dead, and people who simply didn’t want to register were among the new registrants.

        The problem isn’t only that canvassers are being paid to produce manifestly fraudulent voter registrations; it’s also that voter rolls throughout the country are being padded with hundreds of thousands of false and fraudulent names. For example, testimony by John Sample before the Senate Rules Committee showed that Alaska had 503,000 people on its voter rolls but only 437,000 people of votin

        • For example, testimony by John Sample before the Senate Rules Committee showed that Alaska had 503,000 people on its voter rolls but only 437,000 people of voting age in the entire state.

          And?

          The question is NOT whether the voter rolls were 100% accurate.

          The question is whether people were voting multiple times.

          Isn't it funny that activists take up the cause to prevent the requirement of having some form of ID to vote, but not to cash government assistance checks?

          Nice. Thanks for showing that.

      • by khipu (2511498)

        Ballot stuffing (or even voting two or more times) is very rare. So rare as to be a non-issue. Despite claims to the contrary.

        And we should take your word for this? In fact, the courts disagree.

        Most attempts at "fixing" the "voter fraud" issue are really aimed at making it more difficult for people to vote. They have to jump through more hoops so they might not be able to afford it in time or money (or both)

        Nonsense. A voter ID requirement is a requirement for voters to prove that they are eligible to vot

    • 'How might we design an accessible election experience for everyone?'

      1. In the long-time tradition of letting the dearly departed cast their ballot, it's time they make it official policy to "bring out your dead." Zombie votes have always been cast anyway - just legitimize the practice.

      2. Furthering the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), people with ADHD and Aspergers should be allowed to better express themsleves by letting them "vote early, vote often". Keep pulling that lever as much as you need to!

      3. Since the secrecy of the vote is an integral part of the election process, everyone will get a secret ballot, same as in Soviet Russia. "Do not open the ballot, citizen! It's called a SECRET ballot for a reason!"

      4. To avoid discriminating against people who live on the west coast or other time zones, election results will be available nationwide 6 hours before the polls open, EDT. This will allow for more celebrations for the election of our dear leader.

      5. Remember, it's not election fraud unless we say it is!

    • No, no, no, you've got it backward. That's the accessibility of voting The accessibility of an election is how easy it is to steal it. The US EAC is looking for ways to make manipulating election results more accessible to disabled lobbyists, goons, and crooked politicians. I'm sure such respected election-stealing industry leaders like Diebold will bid quite viciously for any contract relating to giving their products an edge in the accessibility-conscious jurisdictions.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Easier for disabled people is a great idea. Easier for people, period, is bad. We need to get over this grade-school idea that "everyone should get out and vote". The fuck they should. We need SMARTER voters. Not more voters. Frankly, if you're too fucking stupid to vote on anything based on something other than "he's my religion durp durp!" or "he's gonna give me some free stuff durpa durp durp!" then you need to stay the fuck home and away from the polls.

      Also, just do like we've done in Oregon for like fi

      • by SETIGuy (33768)

        I don't think that anyone with a demonstrated IQ of less than 155 and completed PhD should be allowed to vote. I'd also like I economics test and a scientific literacy test added. Would that be OK with you?

        Actually, I think its the "woo hoo I made it through collage(sic)" people are more of a problem than the people who quit after high school.

    • by tomhath (637240)

      What is much harder is to make it both easy to vote and make it difficult to cast a fraudulent vote.

      I didn't see anything in the linked article about reducing fraud. The goal is to "include citizens with diverse cultural backgrounds, technology experiences, literacy and language proficiency, and abilities".

    • Now you're just trying to discriminate against dead people. That's Deadism, you insensitive clod!
    • There is a very simple way to make elections more accessible: make voting compulsory. As an Australian, I simply cannot fathom how the US seems to constantly struggle with issues such as electoral "accessibility". The advantages of compulsory voting [wikipedia.org] are numerous:

      ... compelling voters to the polls for an election mitigates the impact that external factors may have on an individual's capacity to vote such as the weather, transport, or restrictive employers. If everybody must vote, then restrictions on voting

  • We don't need more accessibility. We need more transparency. Or, more specifically, companies can make all the cool electronic voting machines/procedures/whatever that they want to, as long as we the people have unfettered access to it to ensure that the system remains accurate.

  • lots of things (Score:4, Interesting)

    by theedgeofoblivious (2474916) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @03:12PM (#38936749)

    Move voting to the weekend(for people who can't get away from work).

    Make it last a full weekend from Friday at noon until Monday at noon(for people who can't get away from work).

    Move voting to the spring(for people who have bad weather in early November).

    Make it so anyone can vote at any voting station rather than requiring that people go to only the one(for convenience).

    Make it so all schools and all government offices are voting stations(for convenience).

    et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...

    • Re:lots of things (Score:4, Interesting)

      by theedgeofoblivious (2474916) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @03:17PM (#38936779)

      Oh, and institute approval voting.

      Approval voting is simple. You mark the candidates you'd be okay with(not just the one you like the most), and the person with the most votes wins.

      Make it so people can just circle the candidates they'd be okay with. This would cut down on extremist candidates and would improve the chances of candidates with wide appeal, would make voting easy to understand, and would make it easier to determine people's intended choices. It would remove people's incentive to vote for the "electable" candidate, and would encourage them to vote for candidates they really like.

      The winning candidate would be the candidate who really had the most support among the voting population, not just the candidate who people thought most other people would vote for.

      • Each state can have a different voting methodology.
        Don't limit yourself to approval voting.

        Wikipedia has a whole list of different voting methodologies and how they'd affect the outcome of elections.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_system [wikipedia.org]

        • by icebike (68054) *

          Having looked at that dog's breakfast, it seems the way we do it now is just fine.
          There are no clear winners in that hodgepodge of methods, and the stated rationale for many of them seems often seeded with manipulative social goals.

      • We already have approval voting, its called the Republiocrats because neither side has a really distinguishable political platform. Where is the anti-war party? Where is the anti-taxation party? Etc. Obama is, like it or not, basically a moderate and not much different than Bush who was also a moderate.
    • by rmstar (114746)

      Move voting to the weekend(for people who can't get away from work).

      Indeed. This is very important. And this one does not even require thinking.

      • by jc42 (318812)

        Move voting to the weekend(for people who can't get away from work).

        Indeed. This is very important. And this one does not even require thinking.

        A number of historians have claimed that the American custom of voting on Tuesdays was created explicitly so that employers could prevent their employees from voting. Simply have an "emergency" at work that requires all employees stay on duty until the problem is fixed, and you've eliminated most of the wrong kind of votes from the people you employ.

        I have wondered what the actual historical evidence for this is. It's easy enough to find claims of such things, but it's not quite as easy for a "layman"

        • by icebike (68054) *

          The vote on Tuesday was because in those days you couldn't mess with the Sabbath so it had to be a week day.
          Furthermore we were an agrarian society for the most part, so employers didn't even enter in to it.
          Voting was set late in the year, after harvest, when most farmers really didn't have all that much going on.
          Travel by horse means a day to the county seat, vote, go home taking another day.
          http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2008/01/why-we-vote-on/ [go.com]

    • by sd4f (1891894)

      That's more or less how it happens here in Australia, which has compulsory attendance, turnout rates end up being above 90%, except for the extended period of voting, here it's only ever a single day from 8am to 6pm. With compulsory attendance, we do have laws which compel employers to release workers to go to vote but they just about always select a saturday and since there is a need to process so many individuals, schools, church halls, public halls, hospitals, pretty much any government or building volun

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As long as we're only allowed to vote for people or parties and not on actual decisions, what's the point in making those elections more accessible?

    • by icebike (68054) *

      Probably the most insightful thing posted on this thread. Where are my mod points when I need them, and why are you posting as AC?

      • As long as we're only allowed to vote for people or parties and not on actual decisions, what's the point in making those elections more accessible?

        Probably the most insightful thing posted on this thread.

        I can see why it might appear so to someone who thinks a diverse nation of 300 million can be run the same way as a village of 40 Amish, i.e. someone totally ignorant not only of how government works but how it must work when applied on a large scale.

        The system of choosing decision makers on their broad

        • by icebike (68054) *

          I can see why it might appear so to someone who thinks a diverse nation of 300 million can be run the same way as a village of 40 Amish, i.e. someone totally ignorant not only of how government works but how it must work when applied on a large scale.

          Remember this post of yours next time you see any ballot initiative.

          And perhaps you should refrain from voting on it out of protest over the deviation from strictly representative models of government.

    • As long as we're only allowed to vote for people or parties and not on actual decisions, what's the point in making those elections more accessible?

      Because that would be even easier to manipulate than the congress, which passed the PATRIOT act almost unanimously, after allowing 20 minutes for reading it, and a year later most of them still hadn't read it. How many voters would actually read 1000+ pages of legislation, AND actually take the time to understand it? More likely they'd put stuff in front of people like "STOP CHILD PORNOGRAPHY act", with things in it like automatic access to every GPS device, requiring a Federal license to access the Inter

  • There are already many different programs in place for this, from Absentee Ballots (by mail) , to free handicapped bus service for those still wanting to go to the polls. By some accounts even the dead can already vote.

    It seems like this is redundant, as states and local government already reach out to their handicapped citizens. Government posturing seems to be the primary emphasis here, to get the last possible government dependent person to vote, regardless of cost, and woe be to anyone who stands in th

  • Any attempt at making voting more accessible should not make the election process easier to tamper with.

    For example, have a machine print a voted ballot, and the human-readable parts of that ballot are what are counted.

    Imagine a virus that manipulated databases, but only took effect on election day. That would certainly effect systems where the votes are only stored as digital data.

  • Think about how many tens/hundreds of millions was wasted on failtacular e-voting initiatives.
    Imagine if all the States got together and spent that money once on an Open Source hardware/software package.
    Even if they go over schedule and over budget, it'll only ever have to be done once.

    And this time, don't farm out the job to politically connected corporations.
    Instead, have the programming coordinated with some University's Computer Science Dept
    and don't forget to have it all overseen by the guys/gals from

  • by Dracos (107777) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @03:29PM (#38936877)

    Make election day a holiday for whatever jurisdiction (federal, state, county, etc) is on the ballot.

    • People would just do what they do on any other holiday: sleep late, go to the "Special Voting Day Sale," have a cookout, drink beer, sit around, watch the "Voting Day Bowl Game" on TV, drink more beer, etc.

      Everything except go out and vote.

  • by rbrander (73222) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @03:31PM (#38936889) Homepage

    I thought the US was trying to make elections LESS accessible out of concerns of voter fraud. Voter ID stuff and all that?

  • I was telling outside a polling station. A car drew up. Someone got out of the car and went into the polling station.

    The presiding officer came out and said to us tellers (representing the candidates (I forget whether this was a year when I was also the candidate)):

    "There's a disabled lady in that car who would have considerable difficulty getting into the polling station. I have been asked to take her ballot paper out to the car for her to fill in. Do you have any objections?"

    This suggestion was of course

    • by Ocker3 (1232550)
      I was handing out voting cards for a friend who was running for office here in Australia, and at the end of the day an older couple comes up. The husband gets out of the car, and is looking for a voting card (here in Australia, you usually have to do more than just tick one box, you need to tick a few, based on personal opinion or your preferred party's suggested order) for his wife. After doing this all day, I could usually pick which people would ask for which party's voting card, and I quickly realised t
  • I don't see how it can be more accessible in California.
    I have a harder time going to the DMV.

    Step 1: sign up to vote. Make sure you check vote by mail.
    Step 2: receive vote by mail ballot.
    Step 3: research your issues/candidates
    Step 4: Fill out your ballot
    Step 5: return by mail.
    Step 6: wait for next election. Return to step 2.

  • We could have people working at the polling stations who act as proxies to assist voters. The voter tells the worker who to vote for, then the worker places the vote.
    Because we are short on money, they canidates should pay these workers, and decide how many and where they work.
    I'm sure self-regulation will work fine for this, so faud won't be an issue.
    • by icebike (68054) *

      Brilliant!

      And all paid for by the candidates. Problem solved with no additional government money.

  • Why do those who have not, get to vote on the distribution of wealth from those who have? If you're not a property owner, how much skin in the game do you really have? If you can't pass a basic civics test, how are you qualified to vote?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Because the laws will be applied to you.

      The entitlement flows in the other direction, not because of who you are, but because of the way the laws work.

      You are thinking of voting as something you earn, but rather, your right to vote is how the government earns your consent.

      It's an easy confusion to make, the rich often think they are entitled to something because they deserve it, not that they need to deserve to have something.

  • We could start by just collecting ballots every day in November, not just the first Tuesday. Or we could move it to the first weekend if a month is too long to keep walkup ballots secret (though we do it with non-anonymous voting by mail).

    We could make "Election Day" a mandatory Federal holiday, even if we keep it on Tuesday. Or we could make any voting receipt exchangeable for a holiday, either in November, or maybe within 6-12 months with 30 days advance notice and approval.

    This will help people with acce

  • by no-body (127863) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @04:20PM (#38937175)

    So, forgo all the electronic gadgetry, do a simple mechanical trustworthy traceable process with paper and be done with it! Do it locally with many eyes watching over everything happening.

    It's not hip enough and the results cannot be shown on live TV screens as instantly and the voting equipment companies won't do so much business - so what!

    Apparently, some entities are using straight paper ballots for the sake of transparency and simplicity. Switzerland appears to be one of those. No complaints about lack of trustworthiness.

    • Australia has pencil-and-paper voting and we still get to have live results TV coverage. The only time we don't get a same-day result is when it comes down to one seat, and it's within the margin of postal-ballots. (Or recently, when neither party got a majority and the independents took their sweet fucking time deciding who to support.)

      Although I would suggest the US separates Federal, State and Local elections to different times of year, and where possible, different years. That would make things easier b

      • by no-body (127863)

        Good points - another idea is to move elections from Tuesdays to Sundays where most people don't work.

        • by compro01 (777531)

          another idea is to move elections from Tuesdays to Sundays where most people don't work.

          Sounds like an excellent idea to get some more entertainment value out of the religious right.

  • Everyone should get to vote as much as they want by texting a number, but each vote costs $1. Then the WHOLE WORLD could weigh in! And if Hu Jintao wants to get on the ballot and run, more power to him! Problem solved (You're welcome!)
  • The last federal election in Australia had something like 16,000 discrepancies, the problem in Aus, is that you aren't require to prove your identity to vote, you do need to identify yourself, but that only means stating your name and address, so that you get crossed off the list, but each electorate has many polling booths, each with many lists, so the same person can vote numerous times, and even though the electoral office will eventually see that, they can't prove whether it was that actual person who w

    • by icebike (68054) *

      The last federal election in Australia had something like 16,000 discrepancies, the problem in Aus, is that you aren't require to prove your identity to vote, you do need to identify yourself, but that only means stating your name and address, so that you get crossed off the list, but each electorate has many polling booths, each with many lists, so the same person can vote numerous times, and even though the electoral office will eventually see that, they can't prove whether it was that actual person who went to vote a number of times, pretty much unless they admit it.

      Similar systems are used in many US States, but in all cases i've ever seen, there is exactly ONE ledger. (Several to look you up in, but only one to post in).
      (I can't imagine doing it any other way, because the damage would be done by the time you detected it. No way to pull a secret ballot from the bin).
      You then vote a paper ballot, counted by machine and the paper is retained for recounts.

      In Washington State they have gone to Ballot by Mail. They have a couple weeks to vote after receiving the mailed

  • by rrohbeck (944847)

    Auction off every seat publicly. Why use the big detour via PACs->campaign ads->voters??? It's inefficient and reduces transparency.

  • What could possibly be more accessible than voting online? There are public avenues of doing this (library's, internet cafe's)... Seriously. As for security, we already do some very sensitive transactions online, and I'm sure all the tallied data is going to end up on some networked computer somewhere anyways even now... How about you create a youtube-esque election site that covers everyones agendas? Where the size of your bank account doesn't matter, because you reach to just as many people as the next gu
    • by icebike (68054) *

      The study is about improving voter access, not going backward.

      Computer/internet access is estimated at only 77% in the US. [internetworldstats.com] Thats in line with the US Census bureau estimate of 68% back in 2009.

      Internet cafe? Really? I have no idea where these things exist any more, and nothing would suppress voter turnout than having to queue up at some sleazy back alley gamer/porn den.

      Libraries? With their semi-functional ancient computers? No.

      And if you seriously don'b believe this could be gamed and hacked you are nu

  • Well for one you could do away with gerrymandering that marginalizes poor people, or neo-Jim Crow Laws (see Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow" 2010), or bring back organizations like ACORN which helped to rally ethnic minorities and the economically disadvantaged (before being gutted by the GOP on verifiably baseless claims), or eliminate the electoral college, or pursue more direct-democracy solutions based on Switzerland's thousand-year-old system, or any number of other things. But no, let's waste o
  • The most prevalent US ID is a drivers license - if you don't have one, you probably are poor and left-leaning, so we don't want you voting. Just get a state ID, you say? The same folks who dreamed up Voter ID laws also made sure the process of getting a state ID requires a not insignificant amount of time and money to further suppress the working poor from exercising their voting rights. Only rich whites should vote; based on most of our history, what's more American than that?
  • An election is essentially crowd sourcing. Stop reinventing the wheel with a new buzz word folks..

    People just hate to vote in the end.

    Then again, what do people like? As the saying goes: sex, love, and money--oh and include food too.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard

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