RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Wolf writes: "Too many of us buy into the myth of US democracy. In fact, the 'secret ballot' could use of dose of daylight and transparency."

Portrait, author and activist Naomi Wolf, 10/19/11. (photo: Guardian UK)
Portrait, author and activist Naomi Wolf, 10/19/11. (photo: Guardian UK)

A Cure for America's Corruptible Voting System

By Naomi Wolf, Guardian UK

04 November 12


hen I went to vote last week in New York City, using an absentee ballot (because I will be out of the country on election day), I had a surreal experience that was also very ordinary: I marked my ballot – put it, as advised by the nice man behind the counter, into a sealed envelope, handed it to him and … nothing.

That is, he looked at me quizzically as I waited. For what? I realized that in every transaction I ever had with the government, I get some kind of receipt or documentation. But I had just handed over my most precious possession, my vote, and I had nothing to show for it. No scrap of paper noting for the record what I had done, and no way to verify that what I wished to do got recorded accurately.

The fellow offered, when I expressed some wish for something like this, to use my phone camera to take a picture of me holding the sealed envelope – for proof I had voted. Seriously.

We treat the black hole where our votes vanish as if we don't dare to validate them partly because the process is so highly mystified. One aspect of this mystification, which gatekeepers use effectively against us, is the glamour around the secret ballot. That noble "secrecy" is what keeps citizen groups from observing the vote count, demanding verification slips, and so on.

The secret vote was, in its time, a great idea. Before the secret ballot was popularized, it was standard practice to intimidate and threaten voters. But few know that America hasn't always had secret ballots. Indeed, the secret ballot didn't even originate in the US – the system we use is known, actually, as the "Australian ballot".

The majority of US states did not move to that system – in which publicly-provided, printed ballots with the names of the candidates are marked in secret – until after 1884. Until 1891, indeed, Kentucky still held an "oral ballot"; and it wasn't till the election of President Grover Cleveland in 1892 that the first US president was elected entirely via secret ballot.

Why do I point this out? Because our mystification of the secret ballot is one of the strange ways in which we treat our nation's voting system with truly weird magical thinking – much like the magical thinking (about which I have written here) that often attends global warming: a defiant, seven-year-old's refusal to connect point A and point B. By now, reams of solid reporting have documented the aberrations, high jinks, missing hard drives, voting machines that weirdly revert to one candidate, voting machines owned by friends of the candidate of one party, and other aspects of systematic corruption that attend America's voting.

The dogged and deeply patriotic Mark Crispin Miller has meticulously documented masses more of these examples – notably in the last election in Ohio – in his masterful Harper's essay last month, "None Dare Call It Stolen."

But this is what is weird about the way we are asked to think about the vote: as if nothing could ever ever ever go wrong with it, and as if it is crazy to entertain the notion that it might. To even raise the issue, with solid documentation, as many reporters and citizens have found out, is to risk immediate mockery – as Miller notes, citing 2004 headlines: "Election Paranoia Surfaces: Conspiracy Theorists Call Results Rigged," chuckled the Baltimore Sun on 5 November; "Internet Buzz on Vote Fraud is Dismissed," proclaimed the Boston Globe on 10 November; "Latest Conspiracy Theory – Kerry Won – Hits the Ether," the Washington Post chortled on 11 November.

Meanwhile, solid reporting on the war on voting, and on the corruption of the voting infrastructure, continues to mount, as in the Rolling Stone piece this summer on the GOP's "war on voting". and the Huffington Post notes the eyebrows raised when a pro-Romney company buys a stake in the company that makes the machines that count our votes.

Well, as a student of closing societies, I can tell you that it is crazy to ask Americans to have pure faith that the system is incorruptible, and to ask them to just drop their votes into a black hole and trust in the Lord – or Diebold. If you look at weak democracies, the oligarchies that have taken undue control of them always seek to tamper with the vote. It is important for oligarchs to have elections to give their guy a veneer of legitimacy – and important for the vote always to turn out "their way". Indeed, something that is never reported in major news media here is that former President Carter's voting accountability organization sees America's system as relatively flawed and corrupted compared with the systems of many other nations. That is a situation that would typically bring observers from aid organizations like his to our polling places to help us count our vote. (See what happened to foreign poll observers in Miller's Harpers story who tried to watch the vote in America.)

Here is my modest proposal: let us end the secret ballot, because we have reached a point, with the internet, in which transparency and accountability is more important than absolute secrecy. Don't panic, because this is what I mean: your vote won't be publicly available, but why can't I get a number when I hand in my ballot, or when I vote in a machine – just as I do with bloodwork, or computer passwords, or other transactions in which I get accountability, but not disclosure of my actual name? Then, the votes get tallied and posted – with their corresponding numbers – online on a public site, and major media reproduce the lists. And I can check my number (unidentifiable to anyone else) to check whether my vote was correctly registered.

This would allow, in one sweep, all citizens to watch the watchers. It does not compel anyone to reveal his or her vote – but gives him or her the option of challenging a discrepancy, and the means to verify what he or she had actually intended to do. And in one easy, inexpensive, technically feasible gesture, it takes the power away from the Diebold-type private corporations and the various parties and the officials, and allows actual verification that cannot be spun or falsified. Most importantly, it removes a psychological blinder, which the American people are asked to wear every two and four years – the blinder that infantilizes us, that has highly interested individuals and groups say to us, "we are impartial, this is a magically noble and incorruptible process: trust us."

As President Ronald Reagan put it in another context: sure – trust, but verify. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+24 # Bildo 2012-11-04 12:11
The UNITED STATES is a corporation. Not a country or a lawful government. Look up the Act of 1871 and the Bankruptcy of 1933. I don't vote in the corporation. I'm an American. I vote in the Republic.
+73 # DPM 2012-11-04 12:11
Whoa, Nellie! Let's not let common sense carry us away! Our citizenry is safely asleep. To wake them up could be dangerous...for those in power.
+62 # maddave 2012-11-04 12:12
NaOMI WOLF is an iconoclast! Here she attacks one of the Great American Native Art Forms: I speak of course of stealing elections - stuffing ballot boxes - voting multiple times, etc. It's downright un-American!

When I was a republican I voted for Richard Nixon five times - and that was 1960 alone . . . but that was in Florida, and I am now a recovering republican in Virginia so all is well.

Go Naomi!
+22 # brux 2012-11-04 12:13
Voting is a myth, who knows what happens, when one's vote counts and when it does not, and there is no way to prove it.

The problem with ending the secret ballot is the problem that was talked about on "This American Life" yesterday, where there will be consequences if your employer, friends, family or even spouse finds out someone voted the wrong way! This is scary, but politics is important to some people and some view the vote as taking money out of their pockets and stealing.

I think if everyone was given a coded unique number, and all numbers and votes were posted in the internet in an open file so that people could check that their own votes showed up, that might work.

But the biggest problem America has is masses of stupid ignorant people that have been basically programmed to think a certain way - think radical Muslims only not quiet as bad ... at least in my opinion. The pace of world and political change is so fast there is no way to get these masses of people up to speed, until there is a crash of some sort. This disaster politics - or is that a different Naomi? ;-)
+36 # sark 2012-11-04 12:14
Having a "receipt" or copy of the ballot has absolutely no use in assuring that one's vote is counted as cast! It is the secret vote count that is the problem and where the rigging of elections takes place. The secret ballot is as much of a false flag/red herring as the voter fraud issue. (It is election fraud that is the problem, not the extremely rare voter fraud that photo ids would do nothing to address.)

Also, I think the writer needs to take a very close look at how employers in the USA have been telling their employees how to vote and how the "right to work" states operate. Also think about all the churches that are telling their congregations how to vote. I think the "being" compelled to reveal how one votes idea is quite naive.

Please, we need a publicly observable vote count where every citizen can observe the count and know that the votes have been counted as cast. We need to demand the end to the secret count via easily hacked and manipulated with malware electronic voting and vote counting machines. Again, it is the machines and those that own them that are the problem as they count the votes in secret.
+16 # Milarepa 2012-11-04 12:15
Thank you, Naomi. Still, though, you're acting as if an antiquated voting system can be modernized satisfactorily with a single measure. Your solution would still leave the electoral colleges that make it possible for a candidate to win the election if he or she doesn't have the majority of votes. To say nothing of the 2-candidate system. More than 300 million people can't be properly represented by two very similar parties and their similar candidates. However, half the potential voters don't vote. They're probably the smart ones.
+16 # soularddave 2012-11-04 16:19
I agree that the electoral college isn't good; it disenfranchises everyone in the states that "don't matter". I also resent the privatization of the PUBLIC FUNCTION of elections.

Possibly the system should be computerized, but that should be a solution instead of a problem for everyone. I should be able to, for instance, assign myself a 10 character code on my ballot, then go home and look my vote up on line to see how my vote(s) were recorded. If I can't find my vote, I take my printed receipt to the election commissioners and let them figure it out. If a whole bunch of us show up at the Commissioners' door, I'll bet many of us will be carrying signs and chanting rude slogans!
+39 # Kumari 2012-11-04 12:18
if someone then claimed that their vote had been recorded incorrectly, how would they prove it, if it isn't a paper ballot?
i reckon you need to get rid of voting machines and go back to paper, paper that can be scanned, stored and retrieved for verification if challenged.
+34 # JCM 2012-11-04 12:57
After you vote you would receive a document showing who you voted for and a corresponding account number. You can then verify that vote online and show document to authorities if incorrect. Not sure if this is what Naomi meant but it could be a solution.
+11 # seniorcitizen 2012-11-04 19:41
Yes, I agree that is what she is suggesting. To be able to verify if the count is questioned would be a way to keep everyone honest. If a recount is called for, a receipt or proof of your vote is a very good idea. I do not trust the machines. There has been fraud proved or strongly suspected in many elections, in many states. In S.C. in 2010, there was obvious fraud, but it was not investigated.
+35 # sark 2012-11-04 12:27
If there ever was a time for the Stalin quote...
"I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how."
Joseph Stalin, 1923, as quoted in The Memoirs of Stalin's Former Secretary (1992) by Boris Bazhanov [Saint Petersburg]

It is the counting of the votes that is the issue and problem. Even paper ballots mean nothing if they are counted in secret on a hacked or malware manipulated machine. Even if you have a copy of your ballot, there is no way to "prove" the machine did not count your vote correctly. This is nothing like your bank account where you have access to all the numbers and transactions!
+14 # cordleycoit 2012-11-04 12:35
I tend to vote for odd political parties and every election I look for a Green or Libertarian or Socialist Workers Party vote and I never find it among the ballots tallied in my precinct. They the counters co mingle the ballots they say. They also say "trust me" and every so many years the county Assessor or treasurer always a trusted Repub runs off with a couple of hundred thousand and the good old boys shake their heads and return to recital anal defilade.
+24 # purr1b 2012-11-04 12:38
One way to start to keep it clean is if Romney and Company didn't have a vested interest in the e-vote machines, and no candidate was allowed to have an interest in any business having to do with voting. Perhaps if rules were made that stopped the candidates from smearing each other and instead told the voting public what their platform is could be another way to clean up the process.
+7 # mdhome 2012-11-05 01:53
WE need to worry less about voter fraud and more about counter fraud!
+24 # jsheats 2012-11-04 12:46
A very simple, truly "modest" proposal; so simple and obvious it will no doubt be vigorously opposed as impractical even by those who are not committed to the fraud which it intends to eliminate. But we can hope.

The retention of paper ballots (if not sole use thereof) is also a no-brainer.
+9 # tbcrawford 2012-11-04 14:29
Great idea...let's get it passed!!!
+25 # DorothyK 2012-11-04 12:48
In Oregon we used to have to sign in at our precinct and sign out when we handed in our ballot, when the ballot went into the box.
Now, we have mail-in ballots. I always hand deliver mine because who knows what can happen with the US Mail? I'm just saying...
+12 # MonkeeRench 2012-11-04 13:01
Open balloting would open voting up to the return of the corruption of the 19th Century: rewarding the receipt and intimidating the dissident employee or otherwise pressured voter.

The cure for bad secrecy is better secrecy, which must always be trusted in any case. Today the better secrecy is public-private key encryption, which could provide a receipt to only the voter, and protect the secrecy of the vote - and its verifiability to boot! The voting machines would also have to be encrypted, with open sourced, inspected software and owned by the government, not private corporations under the cloak of proprietary claims.
+21 # 666 2012-11-04 13:16
this is a case where authors might just want to read the comments for their "brilliant" ideas. love naomi, but you just didn't think this through sweetie. there's just no way a "secret" number would stay secret, both parties would end up with the numbers and use this transparency to challenge voters/ballots based on vote. or if the number is double-blind, then how can you challenge if they don't count your vote? It already happens now, but they can't always tie you to a ballot (I'm not convinced it's really a secret now anyway - especially when a diebold system scans your id and prints a ballot for you). I've seen party officials go through lists in narrow precincts looking to challenge ballots based on party and signature. quite a few people have relatively illegible signatures; now try to duplicate your signature on an electronic pad at an angle with no wrist support... once challenged, someone else decides to throw out your ballot and you don't even get a defense in the matter (it's happened to me). finally you're just asking waaaaay tooooo much for most average americans. even if they have computers/smart phones and internet access...

just go back to paper ballots and manual tabulation
+17 # soularddave 2012-11-04 16:28
Quoting 666:

just go back to paper ballots and manual tabulation

I agree!!! When I was a kid I trusted the counting. My mom was part of the counting, as was a lady in the other party.

I don't care if the counting takes a week, or a MONTH! At least the political commercials have stopped.
0 # hillwright 2012-11-04 13:35
In the days of Tammany Hall in New York, voters were given $3 and the addresses of three places where they should go to vote.
+6 # ScubaDave 2012-11-04 13:54
I think this needs to go one step further. Just getting a number to correspond to the election board's records isn't good enough because anyone can decide to "change their mind" after they see the results of the election, whether voluntarily or under coersion of someone else like an angry spouse, for example. What is needed is an official receipt with a number, as indicated in the article so one can verify that their votes were tabulated correctly, AND that mirrors their votes that they can then produce if the election website shows something other than what was voted for. This would be something similar to the keno games in Nevada or state lotteries that give you a printout of the numbers you chose prior to the game played.
+7 # oakes721 2012-11-04 14:03
When the two-party system arrests and detains eligible third party candidates from participation or attendance in presidential debates, it becomes clear that the choices have already been made ~ but not by the voters.
-3 # futhark 2012-11-05 07:10
This election cycle has made it abundantly clear that the candidates for "both" parties have been selected by the plutocratic war mongers and surveillance state apparatus controlling the media as people who are committed in a Faustian bargain in service to their agenda at the expense of the rest of the planet. Alternative candidates and alternative parties are being continually stifled in new and more creative ways, mostly by marginalization and dismissal by the corporate controlled mainstream media.

The best for which we can hope is that more Americans will wake up to this assault on our democratic institutions and vote for candidates that the oligarchs have already dismissed as "not serious" or "unelectable". The window is fast closing on our opportunity for real hope and change. The American people voted overwhelmingly in 2008 for a candidate who postured himself as being an alternative to plutocratic rule, but has not delivered on many of the promises he then made. If he loses his bid for reelection, he has no one else to blame than himself for not following through with the promises he so cynically broke once elected.
-19 # hdinin 2012-11-04 14:26
It appears that paranoia and suspicion are now permanent features of the new progressivism. I have always been convinced that Naomi Wolf is genetically addled--I'd put it more strongly, but the watchdogs here at RSN might consider it vitriol--(her new book, essentially about the re-discovery of her own vagina is, I'd suggest, prima facie evidence), but this essay goes beyond the pale.

For 25 years I lived and voted in Cambridge, Massachusetts, decidedly a bastion of not only liberal sentiment, but a guarantee of lopsided returns in favor of the Democrat running for national office. I was never, but never given anything that could prove I voted, and I don't consider the little paper stick-on I could take with me, saying "I Voted," as qualification. Too much chicanery in our country occurs in plain sight. Why not? The miscreants can count on the native credulity and trust of the ordinary citizen. Not to mention the extraordinary credulity of adults who are lied to as a matter of course. We believe what we like. Pieces of paper will make no difference.
+10 # Rascalndear 2012-11-04 17:04
Quoting hdinin:
It appears that paranoia and suspicion are now permanent features of the new progressivism. I have always been convinced that Naomi Wolf is genetically addled--I'd put it more strongly, but the watchdogs here at RSN might consider it vitriol--(her new book, essentially about the re-discovery of her own vagina is, I'd suggest, prima facie evidence), but this essay goes beyond the pale.

I think the reference to Ms Wolf's book is not only inaccurate (have you actually read anything about it, let alone the book???) but completely irrelevant to the point of this article. She makes a lot of sense, but her solution is probably not enough to stop very rich candidates and/or their even richer backers from skewing the vote anyway.
+14 # Texan 4 Peace 2012-11-04 17:24
So you consider someone who talks about vote fraud "paranoid" and "genetically addled", and then give your own example of voter fraud? No one ever claimed it only happened on one side. Can you even see the total lack of logic in your own argument?
+4 # Doll 2012-11-04 14:46
Even with an identification number, that you can check on line, does not deal with the problem. There could be millions of fake numbers and no one would be the wiser.
+13 # PABLO DIABLO 2012-11-04 15:03
What about having the Supreme Court tell us who is going to be President. Particularly when two of the five were appointed by his father.
+8 # homegirl 2012-11-04 15:05
In California I get a numbered receipt torn from the top of my ballot as proof that I have voted. Probably my voter record can be confirmed by refering to this number. Every stste should have a method for the voter to confirm that his/her vote has been counted. At the county ROV I can confirm if a registered voter has voted in recent elections, not how, but that they voted.
They always say "as California goes, so goes the nation>" Hope every state follows California in the future when it comes to election security.
+11 # Douglas Jack 2012-11-04 15:24
HISTORY: A refugee people come to the clean shores of a rich 'indigenous' (Latin = 'self-generatin g') culture. The refugees, completely unprepared & incapable, are fed, clothed, housed, taught how to thrive & then these same ingrates don't respect the laws, customs & culture of their hosts. Violence & murder becomes the order of the day. 20,000 years of history are ignored & degraded. Public health measures are ignored so epidemic disease spreads. Lands are taken over violently & rightful hosts are killed & driven from their rich polyculture orchards. Orchards are cut as hardwoods for instruments of war. Colonists plant annual mono-crops which don't hold the water or soil or enable deep roots. Colonists keep lies dominant in unexamined religious & educational institutional hierarchies. The largest part of colonial economies comes from manufacturing instruments of war exported to destabilize countries around the world. Never looking back, generations later, glorifying colonial history, ask, "What has happened to our greatness?"
+5 # Celeste 2012-11-04 19:24
Powerful post. Lately, I also view a great many seeming political dilemmas as the clash between the Colonizer and the Natives, especially in terms of mind-sets. One of these acts to preserve the shared resources needed for the group's survival, while the other uses self-made fictions in attempts to justify their (ften savage) claim to what belongs to the Natives. This is His-story's redundant theme.
+16 # clarkmrb 2012-11-04 15:33
It is time to get our votes OFF electronic equipment. As a retired mainframe programmer, I was against puttng our voting process on computers, and believe our elections cannot be trusted until bi-partisan groups count paper ballots. Go to and search for 'Stop Computerized Voting' if interested in signing a petition to that effect.
+6 # LightWorker 2012-11-04 16:14
Doesn't some state already print out a confirmation of one's electronic vote? Said voter then places the confirmed vote into a second receptacle that all voters' paper confirmations. Recounts can compare the paper confirmations to a dubious electronic tally and produce a physically verifiable result.
+1 # MsAnnaNOLA 2012-11-06 17:00
I have not heard of this system, but it seems better than what my state Louisiana does which is no receipts or confirmations.
+3 # Rick Levy 2012-11-04 20:50
I don't know if things have changed in California, but when I left there seven years ago, voters in fact did get a receipt. At the bottom of the ballot was a stub that could be easily removed via a perforation before dropping the completed ballot into a box. Don't any other U.S. locales have this voting feature?
+4 # 2012-11-04 23:06
As the President of our local Election Board, I can assure you that every vote is counted I know because my board and chief judges literally open all the absentee and provisional ballots by hand. The votes that are on the electronic TS are all tallied on machines that have been set at 0 and for the election day itself. I have done this myself along with other helpers and have seen for myself that they are all zeroed out. We also ask anyone who wishes to to come down and watch us on both election night and on the days we count the ABS and the prov. We get a few people but although we advertise where and when, no one seems to care. I could go on about fraud (never proven in our state or anywhere else), and how many people it would take including myself to do it, machines that don't give you a piece of paper (that you don't get on a paper ballot either). If you want to fill out a paper ballot you are always free to do so in our state. It is called a convenience ballot or provisional and will be counted as will all the others. Besides if you are that concerned about the voting system, volunteer to be a judge and see for yourself how it is done. BOE Pres
0 # Tje_Chiwara 2012-11-06 15:56
As the President of our local Election Board, I can assure you that every vote is counted I know because my board and chief judges literally open all the absentee and provisional ballots by hand. . . . if you are that concerned about the voting system, volunteer to be a judge and see for yourself how it is done. BOE Pres

Congratulations and Thank You for your service!! It is SO important for those who doubt the system to get involved, and in my jurisdiction, Arlington VA, the polls are run by extraordinarill y responsible and thoughtful individuals who cherish the right of Everyone to vote. Yet, there are disturbing reports, some backed up with video, of locales not so well run. And with the defunding of government (guns not ballots) favored by so many misguided citizens, the threat of disenfranchisem ent is very real and needs to be addressed, especially with the highly orchestrated campaigns going on to intimidate or disqualify voters nationwide.

Naomi speaks to the fear and rational anxiety felt by someone who receives no receipt for a valuable deposit -- only with a generally accepted method of true vote verification, can this fear be eliminated. If we could do it, verify a vote with hash tags, we could make it possible by email or internet, and we MIGHT just have a truer, more inclusive democracy. The State by State, district by district solution is doubtful at best . . .
+4 # medusa 2012-11-04 23:57
The lottery here provided paper receipts for countless lottery tickets, on site in retail outlets, every week. It would be very easy to have voters create paper ballots on the voting machines, that could be machine read and counted, and then the paper ballots stored for verification later if necessary.
+7 # Grace 2012-11-05 00:21
I completely agree--we need to return to a paper ballot. After learning about the high corruption of Ohio in 2004, an electronics security expert strongly suggested that a paper ballot is best.
We also need to uniformly allow 2 weeks for voting. Many people work weekdays, so need enough time to vote. Stop all the zig zagging on regulations, making it harder for folks, keep it simple--voting should be.
+2 # fliteshare 2012-11-05 03:53
Take it from Stalin: "it isn't the votes that count, it is the counters that count".

And he only needed to get elected head of the party a couple of times.
0 # RMDC 2012-11-05 05:47
Voting is not really secret. When Naomi Wolf's absentee ballot is counted -- if it is ever counted -- there will be carefully trained republican vote monitors there to examine it for any slight mistake that could make it invalid and dumped in the trash. Poll workers cross your name off of a list when you show up to vote. Republican poll watchers have a list of names of people they want to exclude, so they will challenge the right to vote of anyone who shows up and is on their list. The lists in some areas have already been purged of the names of people Republicans have already "caged" and so these people either will not be allowed to vote or they can cast a provisional ballot which will also be scrutinized by Republican poll watchers. Any slight mark on the ballot can disqualify it.

Republicans have databases of all registered voters in the US. they have collated the names with other data that helps them identify if a person if likely to vote Democratic. If the person is identified as African American, the changes are 95% that this person will vote Democratic, so this person's vote will be disqualifies on any pretext.

The Rove and Koch organizations' data bases can predict pretty accurately how everyone will vote. They are working to disqualify potential democratic voters. So what is the point of secrecy. It only helps in the Rove/Koch vote rigging campaign.
0 # RMDC 2012-11-05 05:54
Absentee and Provisional ballots are the least secure way to cast a vote. They are often simply not counted or are challenged by republican vote suppression campaigns. I'm pretty sure Naomi's vote was on its way to the trash bin just as soon as she left the polling place --
+2 # Replicounts 2012-11-05 16:32
US elections are insecure as long as the voting-machine companies (owned and run by activist Republicans) can report whatever numbers their owners want.
0 # MsAnnaNOLA 2012-11-06 16:58
The paper ballot proponents are right we need verifiable hand marked ballots that are hand counted in public for all to see. The votes should not be counted by machines as these have been proven to be very error prone and prone to hacking.

The ability to verify your vote online does nothing to verify the count.

See ongoing coverage from you will be shocked.

Also see this article at Harpers.

I have read statistical analysis that demonstrates that the true vote is 5% higher for Democrats than is ever recorded as the "recorded vote". In other words Obama has to win 5% more votes just to tie with the Republican candidate. This has been shown statistically over many elections.

Another way to put it is "Statistially Impossible Results". The problem is with only half of the states being exit-polled we will have a harder time proving this in 2012 if it should happen.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.