Computer balloting must be abolished

Computer Voting Guarantees Waiting Lines
With computer voting, only as many voters can vote as their are machines. If 40 voters are waiting to use six machines, 34 must watch and wait their turn. Stories are legion of insufficient machines provided to low-income polling stations, and people waiting hours to vote.

Oklahoma voters never wait to vote because every voter has their own paper (card) ballot, to be filled in with a special pen. 40 voters can vote simultaneously. When finished, each voter feeds their card ballot through an optical scanning machine (just ONE machine at each polling place needed) which counts the votes in a second, and drops the ballot into a locked box. Simple. Fast. Secure. Recountable.

Computer Voting Disenfranchises the Computer Illiterate
Voting is already intimidating: most voters don’t know all the candidates, and nobody understands the “state questions” who has not been briefed in advance. Low income voters and everyone nervous around computers face the additional stress of using touch-screen technology. There are supposed to be advisors and trainers, but this may be even more embarrassing. No doubt, many computer illitarate simply stay home. Since computer voting machines are so much more expensive than Oklahoma’s card ballot system, one wonders if frightening the computer-illiterate and causing long lines is part of the purpose of computer balloting.

Computer Voting Leaves No “Paper Ballot” For Recounts
Advocates of computer balloting say that adding printers will solve the problem, but this adds even more expense, while printers can jam and run out of paper. Will the voter sign the ballot? How can the voter be sure the ballot recorded what they indicated on the screen? Computer voting injects a level of uncertainty and lack of confidence into the voting system which should be a day of pride and hope for voters.

Computer Voting Machines Can Be “Hacked”
Universities and others have proven that it is easy and quick to unlock computer voting systems, insert chips that change the program, and thus skew the election results. Stories of wild and impossible vote counts from computer systems elevate voters fears that their votes will not be fairly counted. Election results which vary dramatically from professional “exit polls” also contribute to apprehensions that computer voting can be “rigged.”

Computer Voting Must Be Abolished.
Because computer voting systems: cost so much more than systems using a card-ballot with optical scanner; guarantee voter waiting lines; disenfranchise computer-illiterate voters; leave no reliable paper ballot for recounts; and can be “hacked” to skew election results.

COMPUTER BALLOTING MUST BE ABOLISHED. It’s inherent draw-backs and human challenges cannot be solved.

Computer voting is an inappropriate use of high-technology machinery for what should be a simple and personal candidate selection system contributing to election results in which voters have high confidence and faith.

Nathaniel Batchelder, Director the Peace House Oklahoma City