Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Clear Horizon for Voting

With the resignation of Mike Benton we have a chance to step back, at least briefly, from the voting question. We can hope the elections commission will take the time to find not only the right person to revamp the office, but consider the voting system of the future. By requesting paper ballots in large percentage, the voters in effect voted on an issue not specifically on the ballot.

While the Hart Intercivic system now used lacks a full voter verifiable paper trail, it is capable of being upgraded to that and still comply with HAVA. In fairness to Hart, had all our equipment been put in the field and used as designed, we almost certainly would have had a reliable result by 10:00 election night from a system that still allowed voters a choice of ballots.

Prior to Ron Michulska's untimely death and Dennis McKerly's defeat, the two Party chairs here may have been diametrically opposed on political policy, but problems such as this were sorted out amicably. I often heard Dennis praise Ron's cordial bipartisanship on process matters. We can hope the two new chairs can find a path that will reassure all voters their votes will be correctly recorded.

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