You would think that with all the technical savvy and innovative spirit that exists in this great country, we could finally develop a system of voting that doesn't make us look foolish every two years. In the aftermath of this year's midterm elections, I must say I am embarrassed and ashamed of this society. Let's face it, we tout ourselves as the greatest democracy on earth but almost every two years, we look like idiots. Voting machines are antiquated and don't seem to have any standard. Some communities are still using paper ballots and punch cards others are using computerized machines circa the 1980's. It is frustrating and disheartening. Here, ten days after the midterm elections, there are still at least six races for a seat in the House of Representatives that have yet to be called. That, to me is shocking. Why can't this country get it's act together when it comes to its citizens casting a ballot?
Now, I am no expert in computers or frankly in anything but I can envision a system whereby a citizen walks into a voting booth at a designated precinct and meets with a computer installed with a proprietary operating system and proprietary voting software. the vote is cast and once the process is completed, a paper ballot is produced in case a recount is necessary based on various state statutes and as an optional feature, a copy of your ballot could be sent to your cell phone so citizens can be assured that the votes they meant to cast were actually recorded. Each precinct would be in charge of its own vote and each individual machine would not be connected to a central hub. Trust me, I know the arguments. How can we be assured that the computers cannot be hacked and votes manipulated by outside forces? If you are telling me that a computer system with a proprietary operating system cannot be verifiably secured, then I think we need to have a broader conversation about our computerized world.
Security and absent of hacking, I cannot see why a system could not be developed to modernize our voting procedures. I suspect there are several other arguments against such a system, for example, who will develop it and who is going to pay for it? There are details to work out, for sure but for the sake of our democracy and the sake of our reputation for conducting non-partisan elections, please, someone get involved and fix this mess.