Re: [OVC-discuss] Daily Kos vote

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Wed Oct 21 2009 - 13:51:11 CDT

On Wed, 2009-10-21 at 13:18 -0400, David Mertz wrote:
> the real underlying reason hand marked is a non-starter is
> that it simply ignores the requirements--both reasonable and
> politically important--of disabled voters.

I'm not going to dispute that, but offer another "real underlying
reason": Namely, cost.

You may be able to get enough suitable volunteer hand-counters in a very
few communities in NH, but you are just not going to get them in your
average urban area.

I think a secure hand-count would be possible in an urban area, but the
number of people and level of organization would be prohibitive. They
would need to be paid, and paid well. Recruitment, training,
management, screening, would be an enormous and costly task.

For example, currently, Los Angeles County mobilizes something like
20,000 people for a general election. If it was all to be hand-counted,
I've estimated they'd need at least 100,000. A sophisticated vote
stealing operation could conceivably insert thousands of people into
this operation. Cell phones, text messaging, and other high-tech tools
could facilitate cheating in ways that would make the Tammany Hall vote
stealing machine look silly.

In order for the election to have any integrity at all, you'd have to
verify that these counters are not part of some organized campaign to
hack the vote. Going to hand count would not magically remove the
incentive to cheat. It would simply change the strategy for cheaters.
Given the history of cheating with hand counts, a very significant
investment (background checks, monitoring, etc.) would be required to
keep it clean. How could you ensure than no counters would have any
electronic communication device on them? Election officials in urban
areas (80 percent of US population is urban) and not willing to even
contemplate such a scenario.

Alan D.

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Received on Mon Nov 30 23:17:06 2009

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