DEAR KANSANS, WE NEED TO STOP BEING INJECTION JUNKIES FOR BAD BANKERS & VOTE AGAINST REPUBLICANS ACROSS THE BOARD IN 2008!
By Kevin A. Stoda, Kansan in exile in Kuwait
Yesterday, I was talking with a British national who advocates America go completely to a paper ballot and have a separate ballot for each office.
This British ex-pat, living and working with me here in Kuwait strikes me as a conservative Social Studies instructor. He has also worked as a paid-election or governmental election official in his own country.
This Brit shares that if the “X” is in the center of a square box, then the vote counts. (Naturally, if someone votes for two candidates, that is a “no go”! The vote will be set aside.)
I was surprised by his statement and quickly recalled, “Back in Kansas when I first was introduced to voting decades ago—even in small towns--, votes were thrown out if voters didn’t keep their “X” within the lines or if they colored in the box where an X was needed—or visa versa.”
Similarly, even as recently as the 2004 elections in Montgomery County in Kansas, many votes also went challenged by Republicans overseeing the elections—these votes were subsequently counted only part of the time.
LACK OF PAID RESPONSIBLE ELECTION OFFICIALS
One of the problems in America (and Kansas, of course) is that election day finds to many unpaid volunteers running the show—rather than many paid peoples who can be arrested for fraud or manipulation of their office. This is not the case in Europe where I have also lived for 5 years.
I hope in November 2008such bad election procedures WILL have been wiped out in Kansas since the 1980s. On the other hand, I prefer the German and French system.
In these European elections (where there are many more voters than in the US elections), every voter is given (or offered) multiple colored ballots, and one simply keeps the colored ballot one wants to vote for—and sticks the other ballots in the trashcan, or keeps them in his or her pocket or purse.
One still votes in privacy of a booth and without an expensive electronic machine.
The colored ballot of the party or candidate is then placed into the container to be counted later. In Europe, the counting is usually down within an hour of voting being stopped.
In short, instead of technological fixes—like electronic voting, chads, etc.--, Kansans need to consider demanding more money for elections and more-hired officials or paid volunteers to run better election counting.
Coming from many historically Republican counties in Kansas, I have marveled and been saddened for decades at the status-quo and how it kept control of the system by throwing out an average of 20% of the ballots each year.
This has, naturally, disillusioned local voters—i.e. young and old for generations.