Thursday, December 03, 2009

Law and Technology: Another Question

The City of Atlanta held a run off election for Mayor and a few council seats on Tuesday. Kasim Reed "won" over Mary Norwood by about 620 votes. The applicable statutes allow people who voted but didn't have the proper ID two days to present it. That bumped Reed up to a bit over a 700 vote margin. The statutes also allow any one that loses by less than a percent to demand a recount. The margin is 0.84 and Norwood has said she will demand the recount.

Following the 2000 election follies in Florida, Georgia went to computers. No more paper ballots, with or without chads. How do you do a recount? Put the little cards into the reader again? Check the cards for flaws? Hire forensic IT people to verify that the software is working, a week after the election? (My MS Dell worked right up to the time it froze.) Does a representative from each campaign watch them insert the cards and play with the software?

I can't wait for the Supremes to weigh in on the next election challenge.


The Curmudgeon said...

Whaddaya do when there's no chads to hang, eh?

But there is a marked document that's allegedly scanned?

That's comforting, if so.

But when I fail to show ID within 48 hours, how do you know which one was my ballot? Especially if there are several people in my position in any given precinct?

Dave said...

Actually Curmudgeon, we went paper free. You walk up to a touch screen and tap next to your candidates. At the end, the screen shows you a page (or pages) with your selections. You then confirm or have the option to go back and change your votes. Once you confirm, you're locked in. No paper trail.

Conditional "ballots" are segregated, I'm not sure if by paper or on a different machine.