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Re: OT: Politics [Was:Social Contract]

On Thursday 01 June 2006 11:59, Curt Howland wrote:

> It actually solves a great many problems. There is a paper trail,
> which eliminates the greatest threat of electronic voting,
> undetectable fraud. It also is convenient for anyone and everyone
> equally, people can also vote early if they want.

It solves the problem with people voting absentee because they don't want to 
go into the polling place, and thus their vote not counting except under 
extraordinary circumstances, too.  The only way you can vote absentee here is 
if you won't be in the state on the last election day (Oregon has roughly 42 
election days instead of less than one election day like other states per 
election cycle, and everybody registered to vote should have their ballot by 
the fourth or fifth day of the election).

> Oregon has a great idea, I hope it spreads.

So do I, unfortunately, good ideas don't spread to national status in the US.  
If good ideas did spread, sales tax would be unconstitutional in more than 
Oregon and New Hampshire, self-service gasoline would be banned for 
environmental, speed, cost and safety reasons in more than Oregon and New 
Jersey (fewer spills, faster moving lines, cheaper gas since the difference 
isn't being spent on higher insurance premiums to let customers do their job 
for them), more than Oregon and Illinois would have regional governments and 
urban growth boundaries, cities other than Portland, Seattle and New York 
would have the kind of transportation infrastructure that isn't an expensive 
joke, it would be absolutely unthinkable to have critical infrastructure like 
transit, electric, phone, water, sewer and garbage to be owned by a private 
company, and airlines would have to compete against ground transportation 
with their own money, not tax dollars.

> The state where I live cannot even institute a state lottery without the 
> entire process dripping corruption and bribery,  

That's normal with lotteries.  Oregon didn't have a lottery before a 
manufacturer of machines to print scratch-its pitched the idea, and that was 
a long, drawn out battle in the state congress.

> In every country that finally gets elections, a clear paper trail is
> one of the primary conditions. It would be sad if Americans, who
> supposedly stand for that sort of thing, were to so easily be lulledbut at 
> least they did finally throw out electronic voting. 

I don't see a problem with electronic voting per se, heck, Oregon counts it's 
ballots electronically.  On the gripping hand, Oregon also requires access to 
the source code for software used in vote counting.  The state is suing 
Sequioa Software over this right now, as Sequoia sold Oregon vote counting 
software under those terms, then won't show us the source.  Apparently, some 
other states require access to the source for elections as well, but Oregon 
is the only one that makes it a prerequisite for deployment.

That being said, I'm confident enough in Oregon's ability to enforce this 
restriction that our problem with electronic voting is how to make it secure 
and make a paper trail from voting by telephone or online[1].

> That's why the US will be the next country to collapse under fiscal 
> mismanagement. I only hope it's as comparatively bloodless as the collapse 
> of the Soviet Union.  

And people actually have to ask me why I think the Oregon Territory (Oregon, 
Washington, ~Idaho) needs to secede and undergo a velvet revolution or become 
Canada's 14th province.

[1] <rant> I can do my taxes online. I can renew my car registration online. I 
can request a new address for my driver's license online. I can reserve a 
campsite at any state park in Oregon online. I can register for unemployment 
and apply for almost any job in the state, public or private, through the 
state's website.  I'm even required under atrociously excessive penalty of 
law to go to sss.gov register to be part of a draft to commit atrocities 
against my will in a foreign land without body armor or adequate training.  
So why not something as basic as vote?

Paul Johnson
Email and IM (XMPP & Google Talk): baloo@ursine.ca
Jabber: Because it's time to move forward  http://ursine.ca/Ursine:Jabber

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