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23 Answers

waterskier2007's avatar

i have never used one, as i just reached voting age, but i assume they would be more efficient, we just need to trust the technology

ambos's avatar

Recently, my home state switched back to scantrons from the electronic voting machines. I much prefer the privacy of the booths of the electronic voting machines to the lack of privacy created by the carboard “cubicles” to fill-in my scantron. When I was filling it out (this was for the primaries, by the way) I was unsure of which candidate I wanted to vote for (I was having a crisis of electability versus my conscious) so I ended up glancing around, thinking, and I could see everyone in my immediate surroundings picks. It was a little unnerving how easy it was to see whom people were voting for.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Its not the technology we need to trust.Its the people and companies that control the technology. This is the only video you need to see on these voting machines. It is done by a professor from Princeton. Scary stuff! I just cant believe this is from Fox News.

HBO did a documentary called Hacking Democracy a few years back. It involved the same professor. I guess people were too busy watching The Sopranos.

shockvalue's avatar

I dunno, I kind of like hanging chad…

emilyrose's avatar

I think there need to be enough protections in place that we can trust the machines. As others have mentioned, there has been voter fraud in the past, and I think that’s the biggest issue.

Maverick's avatar

Voting machines are 100% evil. I’m pretty sure that all of the existing systems are completely fraudulent, and most likely Bush won the last election due to some scam involving electronic voting machines. Its just way, way too easy to mess with the results. And the complete lack of a paper trail means there is absolutely no way to check the results after the fact. In my opinion, if you give people an easy way to cheat with no method for proving it, then somebody is doing it. Guaranteed.

And how could anyone with democracy in mind build an election system with no paper-trail in the first place?! I mean, the vote of the individual should be the highest virtue upheld in a democracy.

exek1's avatar

machines cannot be trusted.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Wrong. PEOPLE can not be trusted.

The machines do what people program them to do. The main company that makes the voting machines, makes ATM machines. Do you trust ATMs?

exek1's avatar

yeah but sometimes they might get hacked.
well, yeah I guess people cat be trusted either.

Maverick's avatar

Watch this video from 2004: Shocking election-theft testimony

I don’t know how its possible that there isn’t riots in the streets. How is it that America, which considers itself the guiding light of Democracy, could have such an obviously flawed election system. How is it that nobody cares?!?

A partial transcript:

Are there computer programs that can be used to secretly fix elections?

How do you know that to be the case?
Because in October of 2000, I wrote a prototype for Congressman Tom Feeney [R-FL]...

It would rig an election?
It would flip the vote, 51–49. Whoever you wanted it to go to and whichever race you wanted to win.

And would that program that you designed, be something that elections officials… could detect?
They’d never see it.

Vincentt's avatar

You can’t check them so you can’t trust them. The software should be open source, but even if it is you don’t know whether what they published is what’s on the machines.

Then again, why is voting by paper better? It’s not like you can check the people (or machines?) who count the votes…

The voting machines shouldn’t transmit the votes wirelessly by the way, or make it possible in any other way to listen to whatever someone is voting.

I remember someone for some TV show walking around with a weird PDA-like thingy and then approaching people saying “you voted PvdA” when it looked like a PvdA-voter. Hilarious :)

brianru's avatar

Too easy to hack.

Maverick's avatar

Actually, @Vincint, there is a system in place for verifying that every paper vote is counted. Members from each party are on-hand at each voting center to ensure a fair vote, and verify every ballot. With voting machines, there is no such verification.

emilyrose's avatar

@maverick——ya right. you should read greg palast ” the best democracy money can buy”

Maverick's avatar

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to rig an election that uses paper ballots, I’m just saying that there are substantial barriers put in place that make it difficult. Electronic Voting Machines remove all the barriers by making it possible to directly modify the votes themselves, with absolutely no way to detect it. It’s insane, actually.

emilyrose's avatar

oh yeah maverick, by the way I tried to delete that comment but I guess it didnt work. I misread you. I totally agree with you actually!!! Whoops….goddamn the internet!

shockvalue's avatar

In Battle Star Galactica they had a paper ballot election but it was rigged by Laura Roslin, and if Lt. Gaida hadn’t interviened then Baltar would never have won!

Wow, sorry to need out there…

sundayBastard's avatar


tiffyandthewall's avatar

i’m not of voting age yet, but i feel really uncomfortable with them. i don’t know why really, i just don’t like putting something so important into a machine. it makes me nervous.

Strauss's avatar

@waterskier2007 you hit the nail on the head when you said “we just need to trust the technology”. It is exactly the technology (or moe precisely, the purveyors of the technology) that I have a hard time trusting, especially in the light of the recent election and the Citizens United decisions. We, the electorate, have no right to know if the corporation providing the voting machines and the software to count the votes.

HungryGuy's avatar

They don’t taste very good.

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