[ExI] To vote or not to vote

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Aug 19 17:53:28 UTC 2016



>… On Behalf Of Dave Sill
Subject: Re: [ExI] To vote or not to vote


On Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 12:27 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net <mailto:spike66 at att.net> > wrote:
>>… Indeed sir?  How would any such system be free of the same factors we see in the USA?  This planet’s collective humanity would evolve power grabbing dictators that would make Evil Emperor Palpatine look like Kermit the Frog by comparison, even ignoring the similar skin tone.

>…Hey, I'm not the one who postulated a world government. :-) 

Noted, thanks.  Imagine such a thing, then feel free to speculate on the outcome.  

Note that along with the obvious risks are some clear benefits: it would allow everyone to greatly reduce military expenditures and eliminate war, just as the USA has state militias but they don’t cost much and don’t amount to much.  They are apparently required by the second amendment to our constitution.  That looks to me like a perfectlyclear instruction to maintain a well-regulated militia or citizen army is necessary to the security of a free state.

>… If the power is unlimited, the abuses will be horrendous…

Truer words are seldom spoken.

>…The founding fathers of the US apparently tried to devise a system with limited powers, but if that was really their goal then they've failed because federal authority now covers anything it wants to cover…

Dave.  Please, my son, please listen to your old Uncle Spike:  They didn’t fail.  We did.  This is all our fault and none of theirs.  They succeeded, we failed.  

>…It seems like it ought to be possible to devise a system of truly limited government, but that's above my pay grade. -Dave

On the contrary sir.  You have a mind.  We all do.  This is our pay grade, and our pay is a free nation.

So here’s my challenge and my submission for a little design contest.

The challenge is to make all elections conform to my FLAVOR requirements:  Fair, Legal, Affordable, Verifiable, Overt, Recountable.

Solution: of the three types of voting, mail-in ballots, electronic machine voting and paper voting, keep the first and merge the second two.  Count and archive the mail-in ballots with both human and video recorded evidence. Then… on election day, have stand-alone electronic machines which communicate with any cheapy inkjet printer.  The voter shows up in person, verifies identity by biometric or accepted form of ID with human observers, voter is admitted, uses machine, which communicates only with printer, creates hardcopy which voter examines to verify it printed exactly the way the voter wanted.  If not, into the shredder or take it away, make a new one.  Voter makes as many ballots as she wants, but can only drop one into the ballot box.


Fair:  After all the votes are counted by human operators, we have the option of comparing to the results by mail-in.  I don’t see why that would favor one candidate or party over the other, or even suppress third parties, etc.  We could even do on-site same-day biometrics for those with no ID.  This would eliminate multiple voting and greatly reduces voting by those legally ineligible.  Fair game!

Legal: there is nothing in the proposed approach would violate any legitimate election principles.  We want a secret ballot for obvious reasons; otherwise a voter could be threatened or bribed.  We have a current absurdity where it is illegal in some states to take a selfie with the voting machine, for that would enable buying of votes.  How do those states figure taking a selfie can be illegal under any circumstances, or that the law itself is not in refulgent violation of the first amendment?  With the proposed system, we get the advantages of machine voting (no hanging chads, no ballot-marking ambiguity, special video screens for the handicapped or vision impaired, accommodates write-in candidates and such) but we get none of the disadvantages.  Reasoning: the voter can make two or more ballots, selfie the rejects for profit, safety or reputation advantage, submit the one which lets her sleep soundly with a clean conscience.  Cool, ja?

Affordable: none of this costs much at all.  A cheapy printer can be run with an old cell phone, the kind which are now tossed into the trash when the new model comes out.  A Chromebook/inkject combination is cheaper than these electronic voting machines, which we should grind to powder and hurl into the sea forthwith.  If they were to solicit donations to implement this, I would write a check of four digits, not including the two to the right of the decimal, to make it happen, especially the grinding and discarding the current machines.  I would consider it money wisely invested and well-spent.

Verifiable: if we wished, the ballots can print out a random 16 byte unique identifier, and the voter could keep a receipt, write down or photograph the number, check later on a website that the number matches the intended result.  We could make each vote completely verifiable without risk of compromising identity, such as by keeping a box of those plastic gloves next to the printer so the voter need not even leave traces of DNA on those ballots.

Overt: everything here is right out in the open, no sneaky anything, all methods and results are in plain sight, no clever IT guys needed, no mysterious backroom dealing ANYWHERE in this proposed system.

Recountable: since every vote counted would come off of paper, and those ballots would be saved and archived in a nuclear bomb-proof vault, we have the option of recounting if there is any reason to do so.


This approach meets all the FLAVOR requirements for elections and is so easy to do, even tiny little microscopic spike66 thought of it.  We haven’t even yet heard your still better ideas.

Question please: Whyyyyyy hasn’t this already been done a long time ago?  Hmmmm?  Why?



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