Rural Wisconsin Voting Will Never Be The Same

So -

I just went to vote. I knew we were getting an actual voting machine here in my little town (Downsville). So I went earlier than normal since I had no idea what a mess might be in store between the new voter registration rules and the machines.

This all went fairly smoothly. The local poll monitors knew what they were doing, the machine worked fine, and as far as I can tell all was hunky-dory. I noticed that mostly the younger people seemed to be opting for the (single) voting machine, while the older folks were mostly opting for the paper ballot (which probably explains why I had trouble making up my mind - being somewhere in the middle).

In all the polling machine seemed simpler than the new ballots. We have a choice between the touch-screen voting machine (Sequoia Systems) and a new optical scanning machine. All of which really amazes me, since when I moved here a few years ago voting worked by taking a paper ballot and going around behind the snow plow in the township garage to vote (which one morning caused my wife to laugh at the idea that our polling booth was removing the snow from our road).

Then it was plywood voting booths. And now this. I'm not sure I'm any more convinced my vote will be counted than I was when I stuffed my ballot into the box - I knew the folks who were going to count the ballots, and even though I knew my political views might not be the same as theirs, I had no doubt that they would count all the ballots. Now they're just going into a computer somewhere.

I'm not going to go into the possiblity of fraud. Greg Palast and others have had a lot to say about that and are better informed than I.

All I know is that I'm going to miss seeing the old voting booth going up and down my road in the winter, and will miss the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing who was counting my vote after I marked it.


September 12, 2006 - 4:32pm