Topic Author
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Manual Vote Counting

Mon Nov 27, 2000 3:18 pm

I don't mean to be arrogant, but do you folks in the US have trouble with numbers? Why did it take so long to complete the manual counting of ballots in the various counties of Florida? In Canada, all of the ballots are counted manually and a result is given within hours.
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RE: Manual Vote Counting

Mon Nov 27, 2000 3:56 pm

We have as many people in one county as you do in your country. haha, jk. Most of the recounting was on "disputed ballots." LIke ballots that werent punched all the way through or just scratched and crap like that. In my opinion if the person cant punch the thing all the way through it shouldnt be counted. Who knows how many votes across the country that happened on..why change the standard now? I think bush's speech was good tonight..i am realy getting sick of Algore's whining.
Chicks dig winglets.
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RE: Manual Vote Counting

Tue Nov 28, 2000 1:12 am

All votes in canada are counted by hand? Right.

The hand counting is taking a long time because they are being meticulous, and also the Bush folks are delaying them at every turn.

BTW, exactly when has Gore whined? Come on man. Get real. Your man would prefer that 20,000 people's votes not count even when it is obvious that they were trying to vote for a particular candidate, Bush, or Gore. Fact: the technology used on these ballots was 30 or more years old. Fact: many of the punching machines in some of the counties were not working properly and only created dimples, not full punches.
Let me guess, you're not from Florida, are you? If so, did you vote? Are you old enough to vote? Was it a punch card?
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RE: Manual Vote Counting

Tue Nov 28, 2000 2:14 am

The method used for these recounts is poor, I consider.

The two mechanical recounts were finished before some hand recounts were undertaken. The hand recounts were only fair if handled and decided on by an equal representation of the political parties.

But the mechanical counts showed some discrepancy. With this difference in mechanical talleys the cards should have been run through enough times to see consistency. An average count should have been cyphered from the mechanical counts- and that result given to the Secretary of State.

The machines are flawed, but no more flawed than people. If hand counts were done properly two Democrats and one Republican voting on what they think the outcome of a particular ballot indicated would never take place. Further, no singling out of counties took place in the mechanical counts. Therefore no singling out of counties should have taken place in the hand recounts.

Ergo, counting ballots by hand could have, and should have, been completed via an even distribution of the parties (voting on the votes)- and the entire state could have, and should have, been hand recounted. Otherwise the hand recount is strictly unfair and loosely fitted toward an outcome for one particular candidate.


What A Load Of Codswollop

Tue Nov 28, 2000 2:45 am

Manual recounts! Canvassing boards! Republicans! Democrats! Counting machines!


The pure fact that the electoral process is along two party lines is flawed enough.

What follows is what is needed in America to ensure totally free and fair elections.

We in Australia have had for decades an authority called the Australian Electoral Commission and it's functions is as follows:

Functions of the AEC

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is an independent statutory authority
established under the provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. The following is an overview of the responsibilities of the AEC as outlined by the Act:

  • Conduct federal elections and by-elections

  • Maintain the Commonwealth Electoral Roll in accordance with Joint Roll Arrangements with the States and Territories

  • Administer compulsory enrolment and compulsory voting

  • Determine State and Territory representation in the House of Representatives in accordance with the latest population statistics

  • Administer the conduct of redistributions of electoral boundaries for the House of Representatives

  • Administer election funding and financial disclosure

  • Report to the Minister on electoral matters

  • Conduct electoral information and education programs to promote public awareness
    of electoral and parliamentary matters

  • Provide information and advice on electoral matters to the Federal Parliament, the Federal Government, and federal government departments and agencies

  • Conduct and promote research into electoral matters and publish relevant material

  • Assist in the conduct of foreign elections and referendums as approved by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

  • Conduct national referendums to amend the Constitution, in accordance with the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984

  • Conduct elections for registered industrial organisations, in accordance with the Workplace relations Act 1996

  • Conduct elections for ATSIC, in accordance with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Act 1989

  • Conduct other non-parliamentary elections as appropriate

  • Now, as you can see from this, the whole electoral process is not open to question from the various political parties, oh, and our whole process down here is by hand counting, and most of the time, a result is known by the morning following election day. For people to say that America is bigger in population than Australia is garbage, because our electorates (your electoral countys) are of the same population size and employ as many people as is necessary to count those vote in a timely and accurate manner.

    To have only Democrats and Republicans on a canvassing board goes against basic democratic principles, in that where is the representation for the independents and host of other parties who contest these elections. Even if a party only gains 10 votes in any given electorate, under a democratic process, they should have the same rights when it comes to representation, as a party which gains 200,000 votes in the same electorate. This is a major reason why a totally independent body is needed.

    Isn't it time that America took a long, hard look at the way that the whole election process is run and turn the whole election process over to an independent, bi-partisan body along the lines of the Australian Election Commission. It would sure as hell stop all these lawsuits and the major bitching from all sides of American politics.

    Anyway, that is my $0.02


    D L X
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    RE: Manual Vote Counting

    Tue Nov 28, 2000 3:05 am

    Hey guys, I think you should get off the idea that because there are democrats and republicans involved, the process can't possibly be fair. If you take careful note, you'll see that NO republicans that were involved in the recounts have complained about the process being unfair. Don't you think that if they had seen partisanship in the recount, they would have been screaming to the media? Especially since the media is looking for just those people.

    Also, Brissie, I don't see how your system is any different than ours here. We have clear laws. And we have courts to interpret them clearly so that biases are neutralized. That is fair. Also, I kind of laughed at the part about the AEC being an "independent statutory authority." Are they not allowed to vote? If they vote, then they obviously have someone who they would prefer winning. However, you add to my point that having feelings towards one candidate does not make it unfair for the other as long as the rules are followed. (And yes, the rules in America are being followed.)

    Greeneyes, I guarantee you that the hand counting is more accurate than the machine counts. That's why the manufacturers of the machines say if it is closer than x% (I've heard 3 and 1) then only a hand count will truly show who won the election.
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    RE: Manual Vote Counting

    Tue Nov 28, 2000 3:09 am

    Further to Brissie's point, in Canada, Elections Canada is like the Australian Electoral Commission.

    Elections Canada issues ballots in the same format across Canada. Australia is probably the same because everything falls under the AEC. Ballots and rules in the US differ from county to county which leaves much more room for interpretation and confusion.

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    RE: Manual Vote Counting

    Tue Nov 28, 2000 4:58 am

    I believe that we should do away with the paper ballots entirely. I would like to see a system that uses computers.

    They had computerized ballots in California. It was touch-screen. When you picked one candidate, the others would disappear and if you decided that you didn't want to vote for him/her then you touched the "back" button and they all returned and you could repick who you wanted.

    The downside is that you got no hard copies if a ballot was contested. To remedy this, I would recommend that once you're done the computer would "automagically" print out your results in a coded format on a grocery store-type receipt that you take with you to door and deposit into a lockbox. This would be saved in case of confusion, otherwise the computer results would stand.

    If the results are contested, then recount the slips by a independent review board. I would recommend counting them like the Vice President counts the Electoral Votes, in the state legislature where anyone can watch.

    - Neil Harrison

    RE: Manual Vote Counting

    Tue Nov 28, 2000 8:42 pm

    Polaris has touched on another major point. Both in Australia, and I am guessing Canada also, there are uniform election laws throughout the whole country. There is no difference in the law whether you are voting in Nhulunbuy, Mount Isa, Sydney or Kununurra.

    It is in this way that America and most of the other Commonwealth nations differ in their election processes.

    For D L X

    Yes, the AEC is an independent statutory authority. And here in Australia it is compulsory to vote, so turnouts of 80%+ are to be expected. But I never remember in our history at any stage where people have miscounted votes deliberately. Accidentally yes, but not deliberately. That is what scrutineers are employed for anyway.

    Because of our system of electoral process, it would also be next to impossible for vote rigging to occur. That is because we have a "preferential" voting system, whereby you might have 10 candidates in any given electorate, and you place a number from 1-10 beside each candidates name, in order of preferred to least preferred. For an AEC employee to be able to rig this, would be next to impossible, as it would take too much time, and a scrutineer would soon pick up on it. The only ballots you simply tick is that for the Senate (which is our version of the American congress).

    And it is obvious that the rules aren't being followed in the current American election process, because no-one knows what the rules are...hence all these law-suits brought on by all sides of politics. There is very no impartiality on the behalf of the people who are making these "legal" decisions...i.e. Florida's attorney-general (or whatever you call them).

    For Pilot1113

    Although computer voting could be a way to go, you only have to look at recent successful hacks into Microsoft, FBI, CIA and other government bodies around the world, to see that computers are nowhere near infallible, and during an election process, it is then that hackers would most love to get in to play with the figures.

    Hand counting in my opinion is still the only way to go. If done properly, under well-defined laws, it is a quick and quite accurate process.


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    RE: Manual Vote Counting

    Thu Nov 30, 2000 5:05 am

    Manual recounting WAS objected to by Republicans. One Republican was thrown out because of his objections.

    The writer who mentioned (Brissie I believe) the democratic nature of Australia's elections might do a little research. The USA technically is not a democracy, and even though FDR talked like it was one it never has been one. We are a republic, something better.

    Hand recounting is NOT more accurate than machine recounting. Continue saying this if you wish. Our republic can stand untruth going out over the wire. But you are just simply WRONG.


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    RE: Manual Vote Counting

    Thu Nov 30, 2000 9:09 am

    The City of Toronto recently had minicipal elections.

    Last year, they invested in an electronic ballot reading system. (cost: Cdn$13 million) The voter fills in the middle part of an arrow (completing the arrow) next to their choice's name. The ballot is then fed into the ballot reader by the elector. Vote is read and stored.

    RE: Manual Vote Counting

    Thu Nov 30, 2000 11:02 am

    Even the CBC said that the majority of Canadian ballots are machine counted, but some are hand counted... anyway....

    >Although computer voting could be a way to go, you only have to look at recent successful hacks into Microsoft, FBI, CIA and other government bodies around the world, to see that computers are nowhere near infallible, and during an election process, it is then that hackers would most love to get in to play with the figures.

    That is why you would have a "closed circuit" computer voting process. If the computer isn't connected to anything (i.e. a server or internet connection) then it cannot be "hacked". If each voting station had the computers write to a disk the results inputed to that computer and the disks were uploaded to a central computer, there would be absolutely no problem with hackers. If they can't get in, they can't do any harm.
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    RE: Manual Vote Counting

    Thu Nov 30, 2000 6:14 pm

    Some mechanical ballots are easier to count then others. There probably would be no way to read a system that recorded each vote as a bar code for example. If it is one of those fill in the circle with a #2 pencil kind of deals it probably isn't that big of deal.

    A punch card ballot is probably a little harder to tell.

    OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.

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