Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Can We Please Standardize The Voting Process?

In the weeks (and in some cases, days) leading up to the election, there were numerous reports of voter sabotage; everything from people being given incorrect dates to actual votes being wiped out of the system by mysterious "glitches".  Ohio, in particular, made the news when a last minute decision was made to update voting software with little to no rhyme or reason as to why.  It's also worth noting that a majority of these suspicious cases seemed to involve members of Republican Party.  

While it's clear that a high level of security and scrutiny needs to surround the election and it's voting process, I see no reason why it can't all feature a standard set of procedures consistent throughout the country.  A standard process for in-person voting, absentee, and email voting (for special circumstances such as those introduced by last week's storm).  One uniform interface in all booths across the country, instantly recognizable to repeat voters and easy to understand by new voters.  This isn't rocket science, people.  

While the last two elections seemed to have been a wide enough margin for this not to be a huge issue, the last thing we need is such a poorly thought out process that leads to miscounts and incorrect balloting.  I was too young to vote in 2000, but the "hanging chad" debacle is still fresh in my mind.  

I can walk in to a Wawa, tap a touchscreen and walk out with a custom made sandwich in five minutes, yet there are reports of people going to vote and the screen selecting the incorrect candidate.  That would be hilarious if it weren't so sad.  

2016 may introduce a leap technology for the voting process.  But somehow, I doubt it.