Voting and Elections

Voting in the United States is antiquated.

This may give credence to allegations of potential voter fraud.

What can be done so all feel confident in our election results without disenfranchising any voter?

Would this have any impact on absentee/mail-in voting?

Should the electoral college be abolished and instead election results determined by the popular vote?

Any thoughts on biometric voter registration and biometric voting systems?

If you have any additional thoughts, I would like to hear that as well. Thank you.

Seems to work well unless you lose

The winner never seems to complain. If President Trump gets his way, which is highly unlikely and flips the electoral college his way using the courts, you will see some people..... well as the song goes, you ain't seen nothing yet.

It's not as antiquated as I would like it to be. I like the dyed finger or thumb method to verify only one vote cast and I like a paper trail.

Everything after a vote is cast should be recorded in high resolution, and I mean up close and personal at every counting table so any official or any challenger can look to see where the ballot went, how it was handled, and how it was entered into whatever system is used to count, then kept for 10 years.

I am not a fan of mail in voting. I went to my place of voting and cast my ballot. Absentee may be ok if you absolutely can not be there to vote, and then I think it should be required that the person voting can verify their vote was counted the way they voted to verify its accuracy.

No. We are the United States of America, not the United State of America, There are counties in some states that want to leave their own state because they don't feel like they are being represented. Imagine if the coastal states because of population were able to force the states that grow the food to sell it at a loss just because they outnumbered them.

I don't know how it can be done so that it could be later verified.

FWIW, I've always thought the purple-finger route was a simple elegant solution-- unfortunately, only works for in-person voting, and it's generally used in places that have extremely low hurdles to qualify for voting. (No pre-registration, no proof of citizenship, minimal or no ID requirements, etc.)

I understand your thought about wanting to be able to verify your vote was tallied correctly if voting by mail. It would provide a personal comfort factor. My state has a system that allows me to see whether my ballot was received, and whether the ballot was accepted to be counted. Past that, the whole concept of secret voting kind of prevents being able to make sure it was actually tallied correctly. (That would be a database ripe for hacking, and ripe for potential misuse.).

The process for tallying ballots when voting in-person has changed several times over the years in our county. For only a couple of years was there a method of checking that your vote was tabulated correctly for in-person voting, either. (And those couple of years were when each voting station had a computer, and gave you chance to verify the tabulation. That system was scrapped because it wasn't considered secure.)

FWIW: We've always voted in person prior to this year, and make our own celebration of it. This year, we voted by mail.

Thanks for all the great replies.

Here are some random thoughts/info.

I find it unacceptable that any voter should have to wait several hours in line or travel long distances to cast a ballot.

There is an information security concept referred to as the CIA Triad:


Voting methods/systems should be evaluated using the CIA Triad to understand the benefits and risks.

In August, the USPS filed a patent application to use blockchain technology for mail-in voting:

Blockchain is currently used by Voatz, a mobile voting system:

CZ and Vitalik agree blockchain-based voting is a must:

"'The goal is to convince the loser that they lost,' MIT’s Mr. Specter says. 'If you can’t do that, it doesn’t matter how much cryptography or research has gone into it.'"

It would not take a lot of rigging to change an election in tight races. Take for instance in Georgia, just 6 votes in each precinct would change the election entirely. This is why every step of the process after the secret ballot is cast should be scrutinized, and recorded for verification. No matter which side you root for, you should always want fair, honest, and transparent elections.

I know people that stood in line for hours to cast their vote and this problem should be fixed.

I believe it's rare for any group to steal an election by casting votes for dead people, or for their dogs, or voting twice, etc. Safegaurds are pretty good, and it's horribly inefficient. Perhaps only 6 votes per precinct, but that works out to 14,000+ instances of committing voter fraud one vote at a time, with no one noticing.

The efficient way to steal an election is by disenfranchising voters, or by suing to reject ballots after they've been cast, or changing the voting rules at the last minute, or by slowing the postal service delivery of mail-in ballots, or by convincing people that the personal risk of voting is too high, or by entering a candidate in a race for the sole reason of siphoning off votes from your opponent. Those methods allow you to steal thousands of votes at a whack, so it's much more efficient: and in most instances it can be done without any apparent risk of punishment.

I think George Bush-43 (Ross Perot 3rd candidate), Al Gore (hanging chads suits), Donald Trump (unrequested mail in ballots), and Joe Biden (late ballot suits) would agree with some parts of that statement.

That wouldn't have helped D the C. In fact he would have lost in 2016 also if that was case. I could just imagine the discussions that would be taking place now.........

@KentE You make a great point about third-party "spoiler" candidates, which is an unfortunate reality due to dominance of the two major political parties.

Perhaps if the US switched to instant runoff voting, a voter may feel more comfortable supporting a third-party candidate without worrying about "throwing away" their vote.

With instant runoff voting (IRV), a voter ranks candidates in order of preference. Ranking beyond first choice is optional. If a voter's first choice candidate has the fewest number of votes and is eliminated, their vote is then transferred to their second choice and the process is repeated until a winner is determined.

There are some potential issues, such as if there is a tie for last place.

As to lack of 3rd or more parties in politics, the issue has always been first past the post voting system. In such a system, human sociology & psychology will "naturally" lead to a two party system, no matter how many parties you have. See, e.g., The Problems with First Past the Post Voting Explained - YouTube. Or just search for "first past the post" for other examples, explanations, graphics, videos, etc.