Candidates should appear on the ballot if:

Monday, July 23, 2007

An Honest Vote Count

Entry for July 24, 2007

Even supposing that voter's have an opportunity to choose freely among all willing candidates, it means nothing unless there is an honest ballot count. The present system of voting is unreliable, insecure and unacceptable. We can do better.

Just as access to the ballot has been suppressed by centralized administration, the opportunities for rigging the count have also been centralized by political administrators of the ruling coalition. Legal immunities and centralized counting minimize the counting from public scrutiny. The ultimate shield for abuse is the proprietary voting counting machine. Much recent controversy involves the idea of a voter verified record as a check on electronic voting and vote counting computers. The controversy indicates how flimsy the public trust is of the current system and in the traditional claims of legitimacy by the official regime.

The best solutions are often the simplest. A jury of voters to physically count physical ballots after the polls close in each precinct. The jury vote count would involve twelve persons chosen from among the voters in each precinct on election day. The jury would be compensated and independent. The counting in each precinct would be subject to documentation by video with each ballot imaged and the record retained for twenty years and freely available as a public record.

With this check in place at the ballot box level, it would be acceptable to electronically process the tally from the precincts using open source software which is open to public inspection at any time. The tally records from each precinct and the centralized count would be posted on the internet by both precinct jury counters and the centralized administrators.

This procedure would allow transparent verification of the results by any and all interested persons.

Once all disputes, if any, have been resolved the paper ballots would be recycled for the next election. The manufacture and printing of official paper ballots should also be re-privatized. The form or layout of the ballot would be regulated and the specification would be an open standard such that anyone could produce their own (unmarked) ballot and cast it. Voter may wish to cast their ballots in such a way that no fingerprints or DNA material would tie them to the ballot. One simple method to accomplish this is simply to allow voters to exchange blank ballots among themselves before casting their vote.

This example just came in today.

Next before the voting begins....

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