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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

November 03, 2004
Ballots

Okay, I don't approve of electronic balloting. That's not new, I've said it before and I'm repeating it now.

I'm contemplating those closecloseclose races and thinking, well, there's a margin of error in all systems, but there's no way to verify votes on electronic systems. No way to correct errors. No way to identify errors.

You know what I want? I want paper ballots. Yes, it takes a few days to count them. I don't really see a problem with that.

Failing that, I want machines that print out double-receipts. I want the voter to be allowed to look at both of them to confirm their votes, and I want one dropped into sealed ballot boxes to be used for recounts, while the voter gets to keep the other one.

Even that won't stop programming fraud, though. Writing software that will record one thing while printing out another wouldn't take much skill. So maybe what we need to do is mandate recounts on all elections. After the fact, states could be required to count the paper receipts and compare them to the electronic totals.

The bottom line is that unless you have a ballot filled out by a voter in your hand, you're never going to be sure you know how that voter voted. I've been accused of being overly idealistic about human nature, but even I know better than to believe that, given the chance to cheat, men who desperately want power will choose not to. Even I know better than to believe that men whose history shows that they've lied, cheated, and stolen again and again are suddenly going to reform themselves.

From now on, I vote absentee. With a paper ballot. I encourage everyone who has the choice to do so. If we can't get the government to mandate a paper trail, we can create our own.

That won't, of course, solve the problems of this country and the world for the next four years, while Those People remain in the White House, so let me suggest an interim solution. A sort of stopgap measure.

From now until November, 2008, I nominate New Zealand to be the new leader of the free world.

It could work. New Zealand is familiar with the concepts of cooperation and compromise. The nation has a strong sense of responsibility toward the ecology and an ever-improving history of ethnic equality. (Okay, not perfect, but certainly improving.) They're strategically located for easy assess from most of the civilized world, and it would be hard to find a more beautiful location.

We'd also get Queen Elizabeth for the ceremonial occasions, a woman who has never yet donned a uniform and commandeered an aircraft carrier as a cheap stunt, with a working, coalition government doing all the tough stuff in the background.

And, most important of all, when you see pictures of Queen Elizabeth or New Zealand's Governor General Dame Silvia Cartwright at leisure, neither of them is ever holding a chainsaw. They have mastered the art of relaxation without destruction. They have fun without killing anything. It seems to me that that's worth rewarding.

More importantly, in 2002, New Zealand spent a tiny 1% of their GDP on military expenditures. I think the leader of the free world should be more interested in barley than bullets.

Think about it. Corruption at the ballot boxes, selling out the government to the corporations at the expense of the planet and the people, tax cuts for the rich paid for by the poor, the aged, and the infirm, cutting back on social programs to fund mass slaughter of poverty-stricken people the third world, etc., etc., etc..

I think we've pretty much run our course as the shining beacon of hope for the world. It's time to let someone else, some more civilized country, take up the torn for a century or so.

I am totally on hiatus. But I'm also disgusted with the voters who are selling out this country's birthright for the dubious comfort provided by a simple-minded yokel mouthing meaningless and untruthful platitudes.

I am very angry today.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:44 PM | Comments (4)
November 3, 2004

No doubt in a few days I'll get over it, but I'm pretty bummed today. No surprise.

A quick scan through the world o'blog this morning shows resignation on the Left. And a certain sense of, "Well, now they have to clean up their own mess, anyhow" which is very true. But with a reported body count of over 15,000 for the first four years, I hate to think where we'll be four years from now, messwise. Also, I'm not thrilled about four more years of this economy.

Three or four of the blogs on the Right that I read (I'll have to adjust the old blogroll one of these days, I've been reading blogs not listed there) posted cynical entries last night about the election outcome. Seems like the same people who couldn't have cared less about a ballot trail a month ago were, last night, predicting the election would be "stolen" by the media and somewhat embittered by the idea. (I've said it before and I'll say it again. Clean, verifiable elections benefit every honest person, regardless of political affiliation.)

In the meantime, I'm back on hiatus.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:05 AM | Comments (1)
November 02, 2004
Can't stand it

From where I sit, I spent two years 'working' toward tonight.

And now...it's happening. A record turnout and tight battles all over the place.

I'm proud of my home state of Kansas, currently running neck-and-neck (49.9 to 48.9) and only a percentage point ahead for Bush. There may be hope for Kansas yet.

But there's only 1% to 3% of the vote in from any state reporting so far, so it's all preliminary. And none of these are an upset or a surprise.

Kind of like the report of another major attack on oil pipelines in Iraq. No surprise either that the news isn't hitting major USofA websites. It's a sad thing when coverage of legitimate news is suppressed because people are afraid that reporting the consequences of a politician's actions would be "partisan."

Posted by AnneZook at 06:36 PM | Comments (1)
November 2, 2004

The obligatory Election Day post.

I voted, yes. In case there was any doubt.

I spent a few minutes chatting with the poll workers in our precinct. By 2:00 this afternoon, they'd already seen more voters than they normally did all day. A bumper crop of voters, indeed.

Posted by AnneZook at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)