Hypothetically, This Is How You Steal an Election


hey, don't bring me into this.
Of course, voting by mail and requiring people to find and use a stamp (or look up a drop box they can travel to) and have a permanent address with signature verification doesn't disenfranchise the poor or result in anyone's vote not being counted.
When I was a little kid accompanying my mother to school so she could vote- on those giant hulking grey mechanical lever-action voting machines I couldn't wait 'tilto I was old enough to vote on one.

But time and obsolescence eliminated them and vote-by-mail is far better.


Mine changes over time and I re-submit a new one to the County Auditor every couple years just in case. Also check on-line that your vote was properly recorded.
Iowa used to use those machines and the election board in our county let the schools use the machines for student council elections. It probably drove the "voter turnout" more than anything because they were so fun to use.
Incompetence may be the most obvious explanation, but it would be foolish to assume that: the last 20 yrs have proven that Republicans no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt. As a famous orator once said, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on... won't get fooled again."
You may want to also factor in the elites who want to influence the election to prevent Wall Street's enemy, Elliot Spitzer from getting back into the game.
It is not biased at all. Mayor Bloomberg just sent the broken machines to the districts with the most stop-and-frisks. It is just a cost equalizing measure--you know, since those districts were costing the city so much more in the use of police resources. He said "if you want new machines, don't be black--er, I mean, make sure your district's financial status is in the black".
My experience at LaGuardia Arts High on the Upper West Side — where the old machines were in use, supposedly for the last time — was entirely positive.

As someone who is inclined not to vote for a candidate with children who didn't attend public schools, I'd prefer locating all polling places there over instituting vote-by-mail everywhere. I like the idea of giving people who might not otherwise step inside a public school a chance to see what they're possibly voting against.
Oh, please. Those machines have been mouldering in unheated warehouses the last two or three years, since we switched to the utterly awful, time-consuming and fiddly scan-form system. Rust, humidity, and oxidation of decades-old grease are to blame for the woes of the old machines, not to mention that the seasonal workers who get hired by the Board of Elections turns over quite a bit and they may not even be familiar with these machines.

The maintenance crews for the old machines are largely gone, and the last-minute approval to use the old machines didn't work in favor of them all getting a full cleaning and re-greasing.

Why go back to the old machines, you ask? I'm glad you asked. Apparently, the Board of Elections was freaking out about the short time between today's primary and the October 1 run-off primary. The form-scan machines are apparently a bitch to audit/recount, which involves hand-counting all the paper forms, and could take so long that they wouldn't be able to give proper advance notice of who was going to be in the run-off elections. So, they had to go to court to get permission to use the old machines, and that took a while itself.

Organizing and orchestrating the fucked-up-ed-ness of this mess to your advantage would involve something between criminal genius and science fiction.

More irritating was finding out they moved my polling place from the school around the corner (which is still a polling place for other election districts) to a high school that's 6 blocks further away, and probably outside the district, without any notice printed on the official 48-page Voter Guide that came in the mail from our Campaign Finance Board. No lines in either place, though. Waltz right in and vote. I just love those old machines. Run down the line and click the levers on your choices and then pull the giant handle (which looks like something that might switch a subway train between tracks), and all the levers pop up as the gears turn the little counting wheels behind the locked back cover. The whole deal takes seconds.

If we were going to set a national standard for voting machines, I would have picked something like these. We have much better materials and manufacturing standards these days. Those machines could be awesomely reliable and tamperproof, if someone wanted to invest the money and there was a big enough market.
I live in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, and at 8a when I went to vote, they'd already switched to paper ballots. No lever shenanigans for us poor folk.
If you really want to buy an election, the WA vote by mail system is perfect. Person buying your vote watches you vote, seal and sign your ballot, and then exchanges it for some $$.

What better way for the vote buyer to verify that he's getting his money's worth?
Wow, so you've spent 10 minutes watching someone vote, paid him money, and you're on the hook in case he squeals. Now you need to multiply the time it takes to do that and the chance you get ratted out by 10k.