Paper ballots are better, and anybody who wants to watch the counting

I’m still more comfortable with all sides counting the paper together without the electronics at the close of voting… I’ve been told that Canada does it all on paper at the precinct level, and they call in the vote results together, and they have the results nationally in a couple of hours.

Collusion between two parties which doesn’t of course negate a two-party collusion when it’s just two parties on the ballot.

No system is perfect. On many occasions I have also said “anybody that wants to” should be allowed to watch the counting. In fact, if you remember, in the Miami-Dade “recount” in 2000 when Miamians gathered outside the office where they were counting the votes and watched them through the very wide glass window into the counting tables.

At one point the election committees decided to move upstairs to an office where they could not be spied on like that. There was such an uproar, demonstrations, protests, editorials, blowback that they decided to stay put.

It is sadly true that two-party collusion is difficult to overcome when the two parties collude massively to warp the campaigns and counting in their own favor. I REFUSE to check off the box on the 1040 that gives them an extra dollar for their two-party cartel campaign fund chest. They make a 15% rule and make laws designed to make it very difficult to get traction without a blessing from a party boss.

The campaign finance laws that claim to limit the influence of big money do exactly the opposite in practical effect, for example. The machinery of the state for primary votes is another way to favor both the party hierarchy and reduce independent influence.

Open counting with paper ballots is not a cure-all pill, and it’s not necessarily a guarantee of a speedy vote. Especially the way attorneys from anybody are taught this strange foreign language called “legalese”, which borrows heavily from the “Doublespeak” dictionary for its definitions.

The dangers of vote tilting are evident in my opinion from the very suspicious way the counts kept changing –in one direction only– in the “election” of Al Franken as Senator.

I just used the example from something I read from a Canadian said about their vote counting during the 2000 hoopla. Speedy counting is possible. Electronic counting and transmission might be instantaneous, but it’s easier to hide tampering.

The Venezuela of Hugo Chavez today has several million more registered voters than their own census says is possible, masked by all the underage population. Manuel Zelaya was going to distribute paper ballots if he could, but the vote results were already counted on State Department computers. If thousands of Chicago citizens with a cementery address are registered and get to vote on paper, sure, it’s a problem, but a dozen eyeballs from the neighborhood in each precinct watching –and add a videocam to watch too— and you make it harder to add phantom votes.

But if you go all electronic, you are making it easier for demagogues who agree with Stalin: “It matters not who casts the vote, it only matters who counts the vote”.

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