Today is primary day in our fair state, so I voted. First time voting on electronic voting machines. They were Diebold machines, the ones that have cornered the market (likely because they’re some of the best made, or cheapest to own/operate, or the company is well connected, or some combination of the above). I like the idea of electronic voting, but like any system there are potential flaws, and I worry about them some. It would make me feel better if there were a paper-trail along with the electronic system, and I really don’t know why there is any resistance to incorporating that. It could be securely added, and could permit user visual inspection that their vote was accurately registered at the time of voting (at least on that paper record), and offer some method of recount should there be any contest of the outcome.
There was a small learning curve for me, but more so for the predominantly elderly voters there with me. The biggest complaint I heard: the person selected by the voter was supposed to have ‘a red box and x’ next to their name, but the contrast was such that it didn’t look red. It looked some dark gray color. Contrast can be adjusted on the machines, and from an angle you can see it was indeed red. Seems like a minor point, but everyone asked about it. People WANT their vote to count, and I guess that they dot the ‘i’s to make sure.
Beyond that, the only other observation was that, at least for my party affiliation, only one race was contested. None of the others were, even for the races where the candidate was not an incumbent. That’s a shame, in my humble opinion. We need more people willing to serve in government. Which is the bigger factor for discouraging people to run: the money required, the connection to special interests to get some of that money, the time away from family, the general public negative perception of politicians, apathy? I’m not at all sure.
But I voted. And there was even a line this morning at 9am. A small line, but a line. I had to wait two minutes. If the races were more contested, the line likely would have been longer. I hope they get more machines for the November election.