Monday February 12, 2007

Charlie Crist wants to get rid of all the electronic voting machines in Florida. I say great. But just before we do, I want someone to add up exactly how much they all cost (in equipment, training time, and fixing time, putting aside the priceless lost votes), and I want to sock someone in the jaw. Seriously. Find me the idiot who actually made the decision to spend that money and let me hit them just once.

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  1. mkh    Mon Feb 12, 02:25 PM #  

    Katherine Harris.

    Well, okay, maybe it wasn’t a unilateral decision, but it came about due to her partisan meddling in the election process, so power up a good haymaker.

  2. alesh    Mon Feb 12, 02:41 PM #  

    OK I’m not hitting Katherine Harris. Maybe Manola can slap her upside the head for me?

  3. Jonathan    Mon Feb 12, 04:53 PM #  

    It’s to Crist’s credit that he is doing this. Too many public officials won’t acknowledge mistakes, even mistakes made by their predecessors. But before you leap to criticize the people who selected the current flawed electronic system, consider that it was implemented after the 2000 election when there was a lot of public pressure to do something to make vote tallies more open and accurate. The politicians did something. It was the wrong thing. Now they’re changing it. It will cost some money but probably the system will work better after they finish. As controversial public issues go this seems like a pretty good outcome.

  4. alesh    Mon Feb 12, 04:59 PM #  

    Yes, they were under pressure to do something. They did the wrong thing. If they’d asked me, I’d have TOLD them they were about to do the wrong thing. In fact, it was painfully obvious to LOTS of people that this was the wrong thing before it happened (kind of like the Iraq war but let’s not get into that).

    And DeFede has a very good point — let’s not rush into this and make the same mistake again; let’s take our time and make sure we get something that’s going to do what we actually need. (I still say internet voting but nobody agrees with me. FINE!)

  5. Jonathan    Mon Feb 12, 05:27 PM #  

    Hindsight. There were arguments both ways. At the time, I thought electronic and even Internet voting was better. But I had in mind superior open-source software, not the poorly designed proprietary crap that was actually implemented. I should have weighed more heavily the possibility that the State would make a bad choice.

    I agree that the design of the new system shouldn’t be rushed. However, from what little I have read, they are going with a scanned-paper-ballot system which has a good record elsewhere, so maybe the decision isn’t as risky as it initially appears.

  6. Mc Cuban    Tue Feb 13, 04:33 AM #  

    Why are the Irish and Italians involved here ?