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Sunday, October 24, 2004

counting countdown

The simpler an election system is, the more resistant it is to legal challenges.
In the US, the system is very complex.
We shall see how smoothly the next election goes.

Remember, elections are processes by which the electorate convinces itself that their votes were fairly translated into the resulting selected candidates, thus conferring legitimacy from a very large group of voters to a very small group of elected officials.

If people lose faith in the process, it undermines the entire legitimacy of the political system.

Think about this system: millions of people give billions of dollars to be spent by a few hundred people. How long do you think that is sustainable if the millions don't trust that the few hundred were legitimately chosen?

I predict the aftermath of the US election will be a storm of legal challenges.
Keep in mind, this should also be used in calculating the cost of non-transparent election systems like electronic voting machines.

The number of angles from which a paper-based system can be challenged is few and fairly easily resolved. The number of angles from which an electronic system can be challenged is almost limitless.

Many elections officials, party activists and media executives believe the final outcome of the Nov. 2 presidential election may not be known that night, or even the next morning. In fact, the public may not have a clear and declared winner for days because of possible glitches in voting and counting, and subsequent legal challenges.

Palm Beach Post - October 23, 2004
Outcome likely to require patience

So electronic voting systems, whose sole benefit appears to be "fast counts" for very complex ballots, end up leading to... slower results.
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