I went to vote in the primary today, and tried out the new voting system.
Basically how it works is you get a paper ballot, fill in circles (think standardized testing in high school), carry it to a computer, and slide it into a slot, where it is read.
Friends, voting privacy is now history in Suffolk County, New York.
I was sent to a special desk to fill out the form. While there were side barriers, there was nothing on the top – and the public school where I vote has security cameras, as do most libraries and other public places where voting takes place. This was not a voting “booth” at all.
I then carried my ballot to the voting machine in the “privacy sleeve,” a piece of cardboard folded around the paper ballot. I slid it into the machine, and it “misfed.” So it popped back out, so that the election official and the random man standing behind me could see exactly who I voted for. The election official commented that this had occurred regularly throughout the day.
My undergrad degree is in computer science, and I am typically a huge fan of technology – where it makes sense. However, there were never any problems with the New York lever-style voting machines. The system wasn’t broken. Plus this new system is a huge waste of paper. The ballots were on large sheets of paper – legal size or more.
Apparently some government official felt that we weren’t spending enough taxpayer money.
This may be the “Facebook” generation, but I, for one, would prefer that the contents of my vote be protected.