Possible use of Python for a voting machine demo project -- your feedback requested

Paul Rubin http
Mon Jul 21 01:30:28 CEST 2003

"Ulrich Petri" <ulope at gmx.de> writes:
> "Alan Dechert" <adechert at earthlink.net> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
> news:P9DSa.111436$Io.9552373 at newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net...
> Sorry but why on earth you dont just print that on paper and let people make
> their crosses where they want?

In the past there has been a lot of trouble with manual ballot
systems, because people can't understand the instructions, the ballots
get printed incorrectly, stuff like that.  You might remember the big
mess in the 2000 US presidential election, that revolved around such
problems.  Choosing the US President turned out to mostly be a battle
between lawyers over which ballots to count rather than about what the
voters wanted, and a lot of the legal decisions were made according to
the political leanings of the particular judges.  The ballots
themselves didn't get a thorough tabulation until long after the
January inauguration and people disagree about how to intepret the
results even to this day.

US elections are also different than elections in most other countries
because a lot of different issues get voted in them.  Rather than just
choosing one of a bunch of different parties like in a parliamentary
system, we vote separately for (potentially) the President, Senator,
Congressional representative, Governor of the state, Lieutenant
governor, Attorney General, Mayor of the town, members of the local
school board, ballot initatives on whether to collect an extra tax on
soda bottles, on whether to build a new highway somewhere, and so on
and so on.  Dozens of different things, all in one election.  Counting
ballots by hand would require reading off from each ballot all the
separate votes on each of these issues.  It's not like in France or
Canada (I have no idea about Germany) where there's basically just one
question to vote on.

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