Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 26 (26 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   5 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Snopes confirms danger of Straight Ticket Voting (STV)

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Joan Brunwasser     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 10/20/08

Become a Fan
  (86 fans)
- Advertisement -
Snopes confirms danger of Straight Ticket Voting (STV)

Most of us have run across Snopes in its 13-year history.  It has become the most well-known website to investigate urban legends, rumors, and myths.  On numerous occasions, I have been saved from passing on unsubstantiated claims by a timely look at Snopes.  

- Advertisement -
This weekend, I got an email from my brother, John.  He was passing along something that he had received from a friend.  It was Snopes’ validation of citizens’ concerns about STV – Straight Ticket Voting.

Having sounded the alarm for years about the perils of electronic voting, I was thrilled that such a well-respected source chose to deal with even one aspect of this subject. As far as I know, this is Snopes’ first foray into election issues.

Before I overreacted, though, I wanted to check out the specifics included in the Snopes report.  I sent the link around to various people in the election integrity movement and got a clear consensus that, while Snopes’ article was a great attention-grabber, the VotersUnite! article by Ellen Theisen is superior, offering more detail and is ultimately more useful.

I spoke with Ellen this morning.  She pointed out that votes get lost in every election, for a variety of reasons, including straight ticket voting.  It is impossible to know exactly which ones, where, or even how many are lost or changed.  Just today, an article in the Houston Chronicle tells of early voters who voted a Democratic STV and saw their presidential vote flip to John McCain.  

- Advertisement -
Ellen has talked to numerous election officials across the country.  She was struck by how many of them weren’t quite sure themselves of their particular state’s rules regarding STV.  So, here are three ways for a potential mix-up:
The officials may not provide the correct information to the voter, the voter might not execute the vote properly (either because of not understanding what was said or because of confusion over the use of the voting apparatus) or the programmer might have goofed it up.   Also, the way STV works in one state may be completely different than the way it works in the state right next door. Because of these reasons, Ellen sees STV as “one more layer of opportunity for an electronic miscount”.  Even if you familiarize yourself with all the ins and outs of your state’s requirements, there is still too much risk of something going wrong if you vote STV.

Ten second take-away
Ellen went to a tremendous amount of trouble to gather the information for the fifteen states that use STV.  It is provided at the VotersUnite! website.  Nevertheless, her advice would be:  avoid using STV.  Vote for each and every race individually, even if it takes a little longer.  This is a clear case of more convenient not being better.  Avoid Straight Ticket Voting!

Who’s affected
Here are the fifteen states that offer STV (sometimes known as SPV, straight party voting).  Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.  If you add up the population in those states, you’re at around 90 million.  So, we’re talking about tens of millions of voters including those from four of the ten most populous states.  It is quite likely that all of us have contacts in at least one of the fifteen states.  Since early voting has already started, it’s critical to get this information out to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Millions of votes could be at stake.

Of course, if you were to say that this should be the job of the Election Assistance Commission, you would be 100% correct.  The EAC was created by the Help America Vote Act in 2002, to be a national clearinghouse for election information.  They have fallen far short of the mark up until now; it is unlikely that they will suddenly drop everything to sound the alarm about this.    On the other hand, this is a perfect opportunity for us to step in.  

In making this information widely known and urging people to avoid STV, we can make a difference!

~~
Many thanks to Ellen Theisen for her help!
- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

http://www.opednews.com/author/author79.html

Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Interview with Dr. Margaret Flowers, Arrested Tuesday at Senate Roundtable on Health Care

Renowned Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck on "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success"

Howard Zinn on "The People Speak," the Supreme Court and Haiti

Snopes confirms danger of Straight Ticket Voting (STV)

Fed Up With Corporate Tax Dodgers? Check Out PayUpNow.org!

Literary Agent Shares Trade Secrets With New Writers