As we enter into the throws of the Mid-Term elections, I have a question. How can you prove to me that my vote was actually counted and counted correctly?
In Oregon we use a Vote-by-Mail system that has been heralded as an enormous success in raising voter turnout and easing stress. I find the system terribly convenient as I drop my ballot into a collection site at 2am, but I’m still left to wonder if the ballot will ever make it back to be counted. And if not, how do I rectify that situation and make sure it was counted?
I think about all the issues we have with voter registration, polling place contention, voting machine error, dangling chads and the like and think that we should have some system of accountability for our votes.
Note: This is not a fully developed idea. There are some holes in my process.
Why couldn’t my ballot have a uniquely identifiable number on it that, once cast and counted, I could validate it? I could easily log onto a website or dial in to an automated telephone system, and verify that yes my vote had made it through the collection process and into the categories I wanted.
I realize there would be problems in correcting the vote if it appeared incorrectly. Why not attach a pull-off tab that had my copy of the uniquely identifiable number on it? Or put the same serial number on the paper receipt that some states have required from the new electronic voting machines?
Basically I just want to know that my vote counted and I see no other way to do that than to just “trust” that everything went according to plan.
Anybody else have any ideas?