Total Recall

Since their last presidential election, our American friends have decided to have as much fun as possible during elections.

On October 7, California may see Governator vs. the revenge of the Pr0n. If Gray Davis looses over Schwarzie, will he dare to say "I'll be back?"

Side notes:

1. Jeremy Zawodny spanks Google's PageRank:

If you search Google for "Schwarzenegger for governor" you get an entry form [sic] my blog as the first result.

At the time of this post, he's still the first result. Good links on PageRank on his weblog.

2. As always each time they face a problem, the US dig further into technology and want to replace their punch cards by electronic voting systems. Precisely computers running Microsoft Access on Windows, with all their renowned security and reliability. What's wrong with paper bulletins and manual counting by ordinary citizens under public scrutiny, as we've been doing for centuries here? [Update: fresh news about Diebold Election Systems' security skills]

1 TrackBack

Ayez confiance from on March 22, 2004 11:27 AM

Ayez confiance dans la technologie (bis repetita)... Minh Quang publie une splendide photo d'un distributeur de billets qui illustre le savoir-faire de la société Diebold, laquelle fabrique également des machines à voter et se trouve au coeur du scanda... Read More


I'm pretty sure the reason we don't like manual counting is because it takes too long, which requires that journalists stay awake and out of the bars much later than they like. We like to have national elections decided before the polls close on the west coast, and although we mostly do that by polling rather than counting any more, we still like to be able to point at somewhere where some actual votes were counted. Then it's off to the bars...

Phil, I thought about that a lot before, but it works for us and it can scale. Manual counting does scale, it requires the same proportion of counters (so, yes, 5 times more in absolute figures if you compare US to France). But it would take exactly the same time, and here too the elections results are announced (through polls run during the election day) at 8pm sharp, i.e. when the booths close and when the counting starts!

No, really, I don't understand this very American complex about technology. It isn't the automatic answer to everything.

I still think the best thing we could do to get the percentage of voters who actually vote over 50% is to have voting on the weekend rather than a Tuesday. Throwing high technology at the problem won't do anything but slow things down. I can see the chaos in the polling place now. The volunteers who run things tend to be retired folks, at least here in California.

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