Monday, June 5, 2006

Election Eve Thoughts

Tomorrow is the big day -- the first time California will use touchscreens with paper trails. I've been waiting a while for this day to come, and am excited and nervous about what's ahead.

Will voters take the time to look at the paper record? (Hopefully yes). Will they think it's a receipt meant for them (it is not), as many voters in Nevada did in 2004 when they voted on touchscreens with paper trails for the first time?

There are other voting challenges ahead tomorrow for everyone -- election officials, pollworkers, voters. As for me, I'm heading down to Stockton to observe Diebold touchscreens with paper trails in San Joaquin County. The 1,625 TSx machines that will be used there haven't been rolled out since March 2004. Now they've been upgraded with voter-verified paper trail printers, and the Secretary of State ordered additional security measures to physically protect the machines after memory card vulnerabilities were recently discovered. I'll be interested to see how voters respond to the paper trail, and how physically secure the machines are.

During an interview today, I was asked why people should vote in this election. It's a good question, given all the concerns that have been raised about election security, the negative campaigning, the short lineup of propositions. Why vote? It's simple. We vote because politicians pay attention to the people who vote. When more of us vote, politicians are more likely to represent the interests of all of us, and not just a few.

Polls open at 7, close at 8 p.m. Visit CVF's California Online Voter Guide for more details about voting, voting equipment, and the contests.

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