Graham Colin Nayler
Voting Rights Forum Participant
Post Number: 1
Best of Black Box? N/A
Votes: 0 (A keeper?)
|Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 6:01 am: ||
I have thought long and hard about the issue of electronic voting. It is clear to me that electronic voting is too easily tampered with and too prone to error to be a reliable means of determining the will of the electorate. I have come up with what I believe is a much better system based on paper ballots. I have written up an article which could become an amendment to the federal constitution, any state constitution, or it could simply be a popular referendum proposition. I believe that this article is capable of generating support from both sides of the political spectrum as I believe most average republicans and democrats are interested in ensuring that the sanctity of their vote is preserved inviolate. I submit it here to you, if you have any suggestions on ways to improve it I am all ears as this is merely a working draft. It was written with the premise that it would be an amendment to the federal constitution obviously it could be appropriately adapted so as to amend any state constitution, or be put to ballot as a proposition, or as a bill in congress or any of the various state legislatures. Without further ado:
Section One. In every local, state, and federal election in these United States all votes shall be recorded upon individual paper ballots verified by the voter before they are cast into secure boxes, the contents of which shall then be counted and documented by citizens of the respective districts wherein the vote shall have been cast, in a process overseen and certified by elected county officials in a procedure described in Section Two of this legislation, in a manner in which the anonymity of each voter shall be preserved inviolate. The records of the final count in each county, except the names of the respective voters which shall remain anonymous, shall be available as public information in these United States.
Section Two. Voters shall cast their votes on touch screen machines, specially made for this purpose, which shall print out individual paper ballots, one for every representative election and popular referendum voted upon. These touch screen machines shall keep a record of the number of votes for each candidate and the yeas and nays on various popular referendums, but in the interest of the preservation of anonymity they shall not record which person cast the respective votes. These paper ballots shall be of a standard weight and shall be color coded so as to be easily visually distinguishable from one another, the color indicating which candidate the person has voted for in the case of the election of a representative of The People, or whether they voted yea or nay in the case of a popular referendum. These paper ballots shall be verified as accurate representations of the will of the voter by the voter before being cast into separate secure boxes; if upon examination the voter determines that they are not accurate representations of his/her will, the voter shall notify an elected official and the incorrect ballots shall be destroyed and the record of the vote(s) shall be deleted from the touch screen machine and the voter shall cast another vote(s). These secure boxes shall be set upon scales, which shall continuously publicly display a digital readout of the number of ballots contained within them to ensure accuracy increasing by one each time a vote is cast into the secure box. When the polls close, these secure boxes shall, under the supervision of duly elected county officials, be opened by citizens of the district wherein the votes shall have been cast and separated into piles in simple process according to their color. These separate piles shall be weighed by the aforementioned scales and counted by machines akin to those which count currency in banks, which shall have been specially made to count these ballots. If the results from the touch screen machines, the original results from the scales upon which the ballot boxes were placed, the ballot counting machines, and the results from the scales upon which the separated piles shall have been weighed coincide perfectly the election results shall be certified as an accurate representation of the will of the districtís electorate by the duly elected county officials and the final count shall become public information as required by Section One of this article. If the results from these four independent counting methods shall not coincide perfectly a hand recount will ensue, which shall be verified by weight using the aforementioned scales. When the results from these two independent methods coincide perfectly the election shall be certified as an accurate representation of the will of the electorate by the duly elected county officials and the final count shall become public information as required by Section One of this article.
Section 3. The inner workings of the touch screen machine, scales, and ballot counting machines shall be publicly available information.
Secion 4. The legislatures of the various states shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
I'd like to know what you think of this. Obviously I am sure it's language can be improved somewhat but I think the basic process is sound and I believe if implemented it would provide a much more reliable and tamper resistant means of determing the will of the electorate than the current system which leaves no paper trail which can be recounted if necessary and seems to be made with the express purpose, in my opinion, of enabling the tampering of elections in this country. I thank you for taking the time to read this I will be sending it out to other organizations and posting it on message boards to get more feedback. Please reply with your reaction to this article, and if you have any suggestions on ways to improve it's language or the process I have proposed please tell me so I can consider them.
"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do." - Edward Everett Hale