Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Printing’

Tiny printing problem on ballots causes small stir in Mobile, Alabama -or- The Benefits of Optical Scanner Ballots

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 15, 2012

{UPDATE 3/15/12: I modified the title of this entry, because I believe it more accurately reflects what I wish to express in sharing this entry, that…} While no balloting system is perfect, Alabama‘s system – the Optech Eagle 2000 optical scanner – is the best I’ve ever seen or used. Having been an election official in numerous elections throughout the state where the system is implemented (and the system is implemented state wide), I have never seen, nor heard of any failures or inability of ballots to be counted.

The beauty of that system is that even if electricity or the machines fail, ballots are able to be securely cast by voters, because they’re deposited in a securely locked box to which the ballot counting machine is attached. And even if there were no machines to function at all, ballots could be counted and voter intent determined by manual examination of the ballots. Voters can even request a new ballot if they cast their ballot in error, or change their mind. The “glitch” described in this story – while exceedingly rare – in no way detracted from the ability of votes to be counted, or voter intent determined.

With electronic balloting however, if a machine fails or electrical power fails, there’s no way for voters to cast their ballots. As well, electronic algorithms and computer code can be hacked. And security breaches of such code continues to be problematic. Further, if a voter casts a ballot in error, voters cannot change their vote with electronic balloting.

Mobile County ballot problems caused by tiny printing error

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A small printing error on some Mobile County ballots forced poll workers to count thousands by hand late Tuesday.

Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 6:00 PM     Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 6:06 PM

Katherine Sayre, Press-Register By Katherine Sayre, Press-Register
MOBILE, Alabama — A printing mistake on some Mobile County ballots in Tuesday’s election caused electronic voting machines to reject them — forcing poll workers to count roughly 3,000 ballots by hand into the early morning hours, Probate Court officials said today.

“This little white dot,” said Probate Judge Don Davis, pointing to a white, donut-shaped mark barely one-tenth of an inch wide.

The tiny error, though, ended up in an important spot, on the security markings that let the electronic machines know whether to count it. The markings look like a bar code stretching along the side of the ballot.

The faulty marks appeared only on Read the rest of this entry »

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