Thursday, June 02, 2005

Open Forum

The cell phone ban is one step closer to becoming a completely unenforcable law. The House has said OK to a bill requiring paper trail for electronic voting machines. I still prefer the old mechanical machines. They broke down from time to time, but they were accurate and easy to use.

What else is new?

7 comments:

MikeCT said...

Adding to the municipal campaign Web sites, Gordon Joseloff and Shelly Kassen are running for First and Second Selectmen of Westport.

stomv said...

RE: cellphones.

Yip, they distract. More than a BigMac? Who knows. Still, I think using legislative techniques to go hands-free is a good idea. The law is as enforceable as the seat-belt laws, and study after study shows that while usage doesn't go to 100%, it does increase usage. So, good.

This caught my eye though: "

The bill would also impose a $100 fine for any other type of distraction that causes people to drive poorly, such as eating or reading a newspaper.
"

Reading a freaking newspaper while driving? If a cop sees that, he should arrest you on the spot for wreckless driving, and have your car impounded. I mean, come on! Reading a newspaper while driving? Are you out of your mind? That's incredibly dangerous, and premeditated no less. Handcuffs is the way to go here, methinks.

---

As for paper trail... AFAIK, it doesn't specify the kind of machine used, so mechanical lever machines that produce a paper trail are A-OK. Really, this is a really important step, and I'm glad to see CT is taking it. What I don't know, however, is if the paper trail is kept with the election. Getting a reciept saying "Voted for Joe Blow" is useless unless that reciept stays with the election, usable for a hand-recount audit.

Presuming they do keep the paper trail at the election, this is a great way to help ensure that the elections are fair. Pretty simple -- you require a hand recount for all elections within a 2 point spread, and a hand recount at 5% of the polling places, chosen at random in real time (not ahead of time). This way, you can make sure that there are no systemic errors in the vote counting.

Indian2Nighthawk said...

My understanding of the paper trail is that following the vote there is a paper read out that you can view inside the voting booth and it remains inside the voting booth.

A paper read out that you take with you sounds dangerous. Remember back before the muckrakers when people were bought off when they brought back evidence they voted for who they were told to? This would enable that practice again!

stomv said...

^ Agreed.

MikeCT said...

As far as I know, the bill SB 55 - only applies to electronic voting machines. (I don't think anyone even makes the mechanical machines anymore, much less adaptive equipment to add paper receipts.) After a voter enters their vote, a paper receipt would appear under a window. The voter would confirm that their vote was accurately counted. If it was accurate, the receipt drops into a bin; if not, it is shredded. The voter does not walk out with a receipt. That’s my understanding of how it would work.

More on this from True Vote CT and VerifiedVoting.org.

Brian_in_CT said...

Re: Cell phones.

I suppose I'm for these laws; the safer the better and all that. However, I would be willing to bet that dialing a phone, that is- actually looking at it, is far and away the most dangerous aspect of using a phone and driving.

Anyone forsee future laws that require voice dialing as well?

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