Counting the Votes
At the election office on Wednesday, two observers and two election workers tried to decipher the scrawl on one pink envelope. The numbers in the address were unclear; so were the letters in the voter’s name. Best guesses led them through a search of the voter rolls before his signature came up on a computer screen.
“That’s Justin,” said staffer Jeff Dale, matching it up to the signature on the envelope. After a few more steps, including checking to see if it was the only time the person voted, the envelope landed in the box for envelopes to be opened and counted.
“He went to the correct (polling) place. He didn’t return his absentee (ballot). We’re good to go,” elections supervisor Liz Orosco said before the group moved on to the next pink envelope.1
KeywordsLocal Election Polling Place Voter Registration Vote Machine Paper Ballot
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- 2.It should be noted, however, that the National Institute for Standards and Technology’s Roy Saltman was one of the first to articulate rampant potential problems with punch-card balloting. See (among other publications), Saltman, Roy G. 2006. The History and Politics of Voting Technology: In Quest of Integrity and Public Confidence. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 14.See Knack, Stephen and Martha Kropf. 2003. “Voided Ballots in the 1996 Presidential Election: A County Level Analysis.” Journal of Politics 65(3): 881–897.Google Scholar
- 18.See Miller, Michael G. 2013. “Do Audible Alerts Reduce Undervotes? Evidence from Illinois.” Election Law Journal 12(2): 162–178. There are two ways to think about privacy. The audible beep compromises privacy because others around the voter will know that he or she failed to mark an office or overvoted. Another privacy concern is that if others could see how a person voted, they could coerce a person to vote a certain way. The other privacy concern is more relevant here: that the voter might feel uncomfortable if others judged him or her as having made a voting mistake or as not being knowledgeable to vote in all the contests on the ballot.Google Scholar
- 19.See Rubin, Aviel D. 2006. Brave New Ballot: The Battle to Safeguard Democracy in the Age of Electronic Voting. New York: Morgan Road Books.Google Scholar
- 23.Herrnson, Paul S., Richard G. Niemi, Michael J. Hanmer, Benjamin D. Bederson, Frederick G. Conrad, and Michael W. Traugott. 2008. Voting Technology: The Not-So-Simple Act of Casting a Ballot. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar