Widespread failure of machines and too few poll workers caused most voters in this county, home of the state’s capital city, to wait 2, 3, even 4 hours to get through the process yesterday. Many voters simply couldn’t wait in line that long and didn’t cast their ballots.
Obviously the same problem occurred in precincts across the country yesterday. Where it happened my guess is that the voters put through this torturous process or who were disenfranchised would have preferred the old paper or punch card ballots with more poll workers on duty. We actually can track ballot boxes with GPS now so losing them would not be an issue. As for ballot-stuffing fraud, at least we can investigate that and hold people responsible. The potential for hacking into electronic voting machines is real and is much harder to prove.
If we really want citizens to exercise their right to vote, then we need to make the process simpler and throw out the technology that isn’t doing the job. I will be very interested to see the analysis of New Jersey’s forced experiment with email and fax voting.
The big voting machine manufacturers will fight against alternative voting methods but we have listened too long and spent too much money on their promises of voting simplicity and efficiency.