27 December 2006

No Thank You

These figures are a bit late, but still rather arresting:

In November's election:

  • 3 of 1,004 total votes in Nome were cast on the touchscreen voting machines that have been installed across the state;
  • In our house district 39, 75 of more than 4,000 votes were cast on the machines;
  • In no district in western Alaska did more than 2 percent of voters use the new machines.
The machines, as you might recall, are mandated by the 2002 federal Help America Vote Act and 2006 was the first year they had to be in every precinct across the nation. When the precincts are as remote and spread out as they are in western Alaska, it must have been a considerable bill for some entity somewhere along the line to get those machines installed. Some models of the machines have been criticized for the ease with which the results can be manipulated.

I guess Western Alaskans looked at the machines, said, "No thanks, we don't need help voting," and opted for the fill-in-the-oval paper ballot. That's what I did.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ask around and you may hear about the Nomeites who were ignored or discouraged by the election workers when they asked for the machines. It sounds like a couple of good folks couldn't vote the way they wanted, electronically, based on the competency of those hired employees. Those numbers are a bit skewed, it seems.