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

Alan Dechert adechert at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 21 03:37:51 CEST 2003

"Paul Rubin" <http://phr.cx@NOSPAM.invalid> wrote in message
news:7xk7acai97.fsf at ruckus.brouhaha.com...
> "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
> > 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.
You make a lot of good points.  As I understand it, Canada administers
national, province, and local elections separately.  They happen at
different times and are conducted by different entities.  The U.S. is one of
very few where you see federal, state, and local contests on the same

Alan Dechert

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