[ExI] elections again; was [Time Magazine: Person of the Year: Putin(!),my vote instead: Anna Politkovskaja]

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Dec 28 00:01:30 UTC 2007

> > That 'election' was rigged from every perspective by every observer
> > (who were permitted to observe)...  Amara

> ... but which election is not rigged?   Stefano Vaj

Amara, Stefano, we discussed this topic at length in 2004, but I have
thoughts that contribute new material to the old discussion.  At that time
we were thinking of ways to design a verifiably fair election.  Let us list
the criteria for meeting the definition of a fair election: 

1. Verify the votes to convince everyone that the election was fair and

2. Avoid running up huge bills in the verification; (minimize labor by
election workers.)

3. Minimize cost of the necessary machines.

4. Verify one's own vote was recorded as intended.

5. Insure against anyone buying votes, either by bribery or threats.

6. Insure that everyone gets a secret ballot.

7. Eliminate voting by those not eligible, such as dead people.

8. Prevent ballot box stuffing.

9. Prevent news agencies from influencing the outcome of the election by the
act of reporting the outcome before the polls close.

10. Allow all practical voting conveniences, such as absentee balloting.

Any others I missed?  Any on the list that shouldn't be?
I have a bunch of new ideas to share since last time, but first I will hold
back a while to allow others to toss in their thoughts if they wish, and
reach agreement on the criteria for a fair election.  Gene you wrote a lot
of useful stuff last time as I recall.  

My notion here is that election verification is not just a luxury, but
rather a critical element in the survival of democracy worldwide.  If we do
nothing to build confidence in our general elections, we won't be having
them much longer.  They will be unneeded, a pointless exercise.  

We can meet all ten of the above with current technology and not excessive
expense (certainly small in comparison to the amount of money spent on
elections currently).  The fact that no democratic government is currently
doing so makes me queasy.  


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