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November 8, 2006

Say goodnight, Gracie
Posted by Patrick at 11:08 AM * 12 comments

Soren deSelby writes: “Have you noticed that the two Republican incumbents in the races that are too close to call are named Burns and Allen?”

Comments on Say goodnight, Gracie:
#1 ::: moe99 ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 11:28 AM:

the beer is on me if Webb wins! Mac N Jacks African Amber for everyone!

#2 ::: Dani ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 11:57 AM:

moe99, I'll take you up on that! I'm hoping the recount doesn't take too long - I want to know if I can be ambivalent about this election's results, rather than just sad (for the state).

Although my precinct used electronic voting machines, so I have little faith, if any, in the accuracy of any recount.

#3 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 12:01 PM:

When God is not cruel, he is often funny.

#4 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 12:16 PM:

Scott H #3: I thought She was sophisticated, but not malicious.

#5 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 12:24 PM:

Fragano Ledgister #4: Any sufficiently advanced sophistication is indistinguishable from cruelty.

#6 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 12:27 PM:

Scott H #5: A point, Sir Arthur!

#7 ::: retterson ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 01:08 PM:

Oh, that is too ironic!

#8 ::: anomalous4 ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 11:25 PM:

---LOL--- Wisht I'd'a thunk o' that.

#9 ::: anomalous4 ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 11:45 PM:

About those voting machines:

My precinct used something I've never seen before. They gave you a paper "black in the circles" ballot, and when you handed it in, they fed it into a scanner that read and stored the ballots. (The thing looked a little like an armor-plated medium-sized laser printer.) That way they got an instant count and a paper backup.

If the machine found something weird about the ballot, it spit it right back out, the ballot was destroyed, and the voter was given a chance to do it again. I saw it in action when the little old lady ahead of me accidentally marked two choices on one item. Bless her heart, she ended up doing it 3 times before the machine would accept it. But by gum, when she finally got it right, she knew her vote was counted!

The other great feature of these machines is that if you don't enter a choice on one or more items, they'll prompt you as to whether you really intend to submit your ballot like that. If the voter says yes, the operator hits a button and the machine accepts the ballot. If no, it spits it back out again and the voter has a chance to recheck their vote.

It looks like a terrific system!

#10 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 11:58 PM:

We have the 'fill in the oval' ballot, WE get to turn it into the machine using a covering holder (secret ballot, ya know). We've also got limited touchscreen machines which I would probably be more comfortable with (I am very technology forward for someone my age), but I do like having the actual filled-in ballot going somewhere after being counted just in case. Not that it was an issue in Missouri.

#11 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 05:33 AM:

Alameda County, CA in this election used a ballot I'd never seen before: instead of punching a chad or blacking a circle, you drew a line connecting an arrowhead to an arrow tail. Seems like that makes a nice combination of machine readability with human checkability.

I heard on the radio that 60% of Alameda County voted absentee. Whew. Now that's rejection of touchscreen machines. (Heck, I voted absentee and I didn't even apply to do so! There were so few non-absentee in my district that they didn't have a polling place.)

#12 ::: Edward Oleander ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2006, 11:05 PM:

David (#11) -- We had those in Minnesota about 20 years back, give or take. I thought they made for a clear and readable ballot, but they disappeared after only a few years... Can you send yours back here?

Of course, I'll take being asked to hand-write each candidate in reverse-Sanskrit over the Diabolical Diebold... let's hope THAT one dies a quick death...

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