I cast my ballot in the presidential primary today and was very unhappy with the process. Until the last general election, my polling station had the same type of machines I remember seeing when I was a kid.
With the old machines you went into the booth, pulled a lever, which closed a curtain. In the privacy of the booth you threw smaller levers to cast your ballot, then ‘unthrew’ the large lever to open the curtain and record you’d done.
Was this system broke? It always worked for me. It was excellent in its simplicity.
Today I was handed a paper ballot which I brought into a small cubicle. There was no curtain behind me. I marked my ballot and carried it to the ballot box in a manilla folder. At the ballot box, I removed my ballot from the envelope and slid it in with the rest.
I went through this before the last time I voted. I felt uncomfortable then because I wasn’t in an enclosed space. Same today.
As if to prove my point, I mistakenly walked behind the other voting booths carrying my ballot in hand. If I would have turned my head, I could have easily seen the votes of others.
When I went to place my ballot in the box, taking it from its Manila folder, it was totally exposed. If he wanted to, the poll watcher could have seen anything I marked.
This process should be absolutely protected and totally secret. As currently run, It is not. That’s very disappointing.
A commenter on the last entry asked if this is the best we could do. Is it?