Re: Left off the ballot?

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Wed Apr 14 2004 - 09:02:20 CDT

> Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 16:07:20 -0700 (PDT)
> From: charlie strauss <cems@earthlink.net>

> Here is what really grabs me about this story. These modern
> touchscreens are, I have read, programmed to prevent undervotes by
> forcing the voter to press the -yes-I-meant-to-not-vote- button. If
> this feature was active in the story above then the machine must have
> cast the vote for voter otherwise it would have been flagged by the
> machines.

The details of this are entirely up to the state. Most states
reject the idea of nagging voters about each and every undervote
because most of us intentionally undervote on a large number of
races and issues, particularly toward the end of the ballot.
Locally, a typical ballot ends with judicial retention races for
judges I've never heard of, races for seats on the county soil
and water conservation board, the junior college district library
board, and bunches of other stuff. In most states, not voting on
these issues is very common!

So, the most common model is to kick back the ballot only if you've
made no discernible selection at all, but even this is optional
and can be enabled or disabled by the jurisdiction. Technically,
only the state should decide whether this option is enabled or
disabled, but oversight of this issue is poor and it is sometimes
left to the county or the vendor to decide the setting. This is
bad!

                        Doug Jones
                        jones@cs.uiowa.edu
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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:05 2004

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