Thursday, October 28, 2004

I Voted Today

Well, my civic duty has been fulfilled, I decided to take advantage of early voting and avoid the big insanely long lines that I anticipate at the polls next Tuesday.

Not that my presidential vote will count for anything in the great state of Texas or anything. God bless the American electoral system.

I do have to get up on my soapbox about the whole voting machine issue. I have always voted with the infamous metal lever machines. They've been fine. Never had to do a punch card a la Florida or anything like that. But today was my first time using an "E-machine" to cast my vote.

Let me tell you something about the E-machines. They are confusing as hell.

First of all, the directions are incredibly long and incredibly obscure. Even after reading I was trying to push the button to move forward and I couldn't do it. Then I tried to cast my ballot and I couldn't do it.

God help the illiterate person, or the elderly mom and pop who are not used to computers. Or the college educated grad student (ahem, ME). There were signs up around saying if you had a question to ask one of the poll workers, but:

a. You would have to leave your machine unattended which makes me uncomfortable.
b. That takes away your anonymity.
c. All the poll workers I saw were all busy assisting other customers.

Someone told me the other day that there were some complaints already filed here in Austin because of the obscurity of the machines, and how there was an easy way to "accidentally" erase your votes, particularly if you voted along party lines.

I think I'm going to send in my own two cents to the powers-that-be as well.

I'm sorry, but if we're going to give everyone the "right" to vote, then we need to make the voting system cater to the lowest common denominator. I'm talking about ABC blocks. re you and me...etc.


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