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Problems with Voting

Essay by   •  November 28, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,311 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,281 Views

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Why Voting is never Completely Accurate!!

Statement of the Problem

There are several problems when it comes to elections. One of the problems is whether the candidates played fairly throughout the election. Another problem is whether the votes that are being cast are being counted correctly or even being counted at all. The main reason this topic has become such an important issue is because of the last two elections. The first election had a problem in the state of Florida, and the 2004 elections had problems in the state of Ohio.

Evidence Used in Reaching my Conclusion

One of the things I would worry about in voting is how and who is counting my votes. For instance, a type of voting I would not be satisfied with is the paper ballot way of voting. The modern system of election using paper ballots was first used in 1858 in Australia. The great Australian innovation was to print standardized ballots at government expense, distribute them to the voters at the polling places, and require that the voters vote and return the ballots immediately. Today, the security against election fraud this provides seems obvious, but in the 19th century, it was not obvious to most observers, and it was not until 1888 that this ballot was used in the United States.

Another type of voting that is a problem to me is the lever voting machine. Lever voting machines offer excellent voter privacy, and the feel of a lever voting machine is immensely reassuring to voters! Unfortunately, they are immense machines, expensive to move and store, difficult to test, complex to maintain, and far from secure against vote fraud. Furthermore, a lever voting machine maintains no audit trail. With paper ballots, an it is possible to recount the votes if there is an allegation of fraud. With lever voting machines, there is nothing to recount! This could be a problem also because if someone votes incorrectly and pushes the lever down at the wrong time he or she can not go back and fix that vote.

I know that this doesn't look like a single vote would sway an election that much but you figure that 1,000 people across the nation vote incorrectly for the same person. That could sway an election, probably not a presidential election but it might sway an election for senate or the house. I believe that a unified way of voting should be made, whether it is any type of voting. I don't believe that the country should have all sorts of different ways of voting. For instance, on the website, (NW Fusion) it says that all of these types of systems are being used across the country: Paper Ballots, Lever Voting Machines, Punched Card Hand Recounts, Optical Mark Sense Ballots, Precinct Count versus Central Count Systems, Hand Recounts. To me it's hard to make sure you get all of the votes counted correctly when you have all of these different variations of the same thing.

My Conclusion

If I was going to pick an easy simple way of voting I would pick a uniform style of voting and use the technology we have invented to count the voting. Direct Recording Electronic Voting Systems, The newest voting technology uses direct-recording electronic voting machines. These were developed after microcomputers became sufficiently inexpensive that they could be incorporated into a voting machine. The first of these was developed by Shoup in 1978; The Shoup Voting Machine Company was one of the two companies that had been making lever voting machines for much of the century. Their new electronic voting machine was built to have the "look and feel" of a lever voting machine, thereby minimizing the voter education problems that always accompany changes in voting technology. All of today's direct-recording voting machines attempt to offer far stronger audit and security tools than the old lever machines they functionally replace. Instead of simply storing vote totals on odometer wheels inside the machine, they store an electronic record called a ballot image recording each voter's choices, and they store an audit trail of all actions involving the machine, from pre-election testing to the printing of vote totals after the polls close. These records are stored in duplicate form, for example, in a hard drive in the machine as well as in a removable memory pack of some kind or on an adding machine tape inside the machine. Should any disaster strike or should a recount be requested, it should be possible to recover all votes that have been cast on such a machine. To me it is an easy decision on what type of machine to use but, obviously there are some problems with every type of machine because something as important



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