George(s) Lessard on 16 Dec 2000 19:34:45 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Against computerised democracy

As a former poll worker and scrutineer in Canadian elections (where the entire 
national vote is run by a central elections officer [provincial or federal 
depending on the election] and is done on simple paper ballots, standardized 
accross the country and counted in about two hours after the polls close) I am 
abosolutly amazed that in the land of the free and the home of capitalism... 
the creator of the voting devices can say ... They are wrong about 5% of the 


I guess that shows how much a vote is really worth in the US...


On 15 Dec 00, / from / via / thanks to, Torsten Otto <>  
 writing on Subject: Re: <nettime> Against computerised 

I wholeheartedly agree that companies should have nothing to do with
elections and that paper ballots seem the least corrupt way to hold
elections. It is not true however, that one has to wait days or weeks for
the results. Elections in Germany are held in just that fashion and
results are to be had that night: You go, have your name checked of the
list and receive a ballot - printed in clear letters, with obvious places
where to mark your choice of party and/or individual. With that you enter
a cabin where a pen is provided, make use of your electoral rights, fold
the paper (and/or stick it in an envelope - they're coming out of fashion
for practical as well as finacial/ecological reasons) and cast it in an
urn that is overseen by a member of the local voting committee. After the
elections are closed, the public is invited to oversee the counting
process which takes place right at the place the votes are cast.  The
papers are counted by hand, the results telephoned to a central office.
The counting (I've been part of that several times now) doesn't take
longer than an hour, unless the total doesn't come out with the number of
people checked off the list. 

In that case the counting starts all over again.  Usually, the results
predicted by the TV stations minutes after the closing of the election are
pretty correct. They are derived mostly by asking people right after they
cast their actual vote. In the course of the night (elections are always
on Sunday, always end at 6pm), the results are usually clear with the
official numbers made public by Monday noon - no waiting for a week or
two. And in case someone doubts the results, the organized bundles of
ballots are there to be recounted. 

Regards, Torsten Otto

McKenzie Wark wrote:
> from the New York Press
> Votescam 2000: The Real Scandal Is the Voting Machines Themselves


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