Are our ballots secret?
Nov 24, 2013 | 1449 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

I asked this question of the Hoboken Board of Education a few years ago, but didn't receive an answer. So I'll ask again. We go into the polling place, we give our name and address to someone at a table with a big book in front of them. The person finds our name, we sign the book, then we sign a slip with a number on it; say number 93. We give that slip to the person tending the voting machine. The person tending the machine records the number into a device on the back of the machine, then bids me enter. I vote, and leave. Then number 94 enters the booth, and so on. While waiting in line in last Tuesday's election, I had a chance to chat with a woman at the table. I asked her what would prevent someone from checking the machine after closing to see how No. 93 voted. Oh, they don't do that, she said. But could they, if they wanted to? Well...she thought about it...but couldn't definitely say they couldn't.

Of course they could. It's been known for years that voting machines can be hacked, numbers changed, results overturned. It's been known for years that they are an open book to the unscrupulous. Hasn't bitter experience with crooked politicians taught us anything? So why don't we throw them on the scrap heap (the machines, I mean) and go back to the paper ballot-boxes that have successfully certified the elections of liars and fools (and the occasional honest man) for 200 years of our democracy?

T. Weed

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