Thursday, September 30, 2004

Who will decide this election?

I'm hopeful, but there's this feeling I have that we are on the verge of seeing a change in how we have elected officials seated. There was a foreshadowing of it in Oct/Nov 2000, but this time, we'll have it in spades. The reason I believe there is a realistic opportunity for this to happen is because we have become a pretty sue crazy society. If it's not how we like it, forget about sitting down and discussing it and don't even consider looking at the bigger picture outside ourselves, to possibly find out it is beeter for all for us to take a second place, or even back seat, in order that a greater good be fulfilled. With the introduction of electronic voting systems, there is a possibility they can be tampered with, and there are already indications some analysts/consultants have shown it can happen. Picture this: In a tight race, there are no hanging chads to joke about, and that, my readers makes it no joking matter. There will be no reliable way to reconstruct the actual "will of the people." What then? If we settle for the "recorded" and for the sake of this discussion, and contested contest? That would certainly suit the winner of the moment, but, I submit, here's where we get into trouble. The "loser" has a legal right to challenge it, due to the known vulnerabilites of electronic voting. Now, how will anyone possibly be able to pull togehter the program code and be able to replicate the voting to a degree that is reasonable, without redoing the actual election over again? Trust me, it will be so close to impossible that our puny little heads would explode from either 1) the massive technical issues involved in re-creating the votes, or 2) the millions of dollars someone would have to spend to do this properly. Ok, so the bad news is electronic voting might provide such results that we need a judge to be the arbitrator. Actually, if that wasn't bad enough, pitting humans (who aren't taught real math any more, let alone digital logic and related topics, required to not be completely cluless - another topic to be discussed later on how we have failed to teach real life things in our schools) against computers, how about the extreme hatred that will pit humans against humans? I can see it now, accusation and counter accusation about this and that group being "disenfranchised" in the process, so off to court we go. That's going to be the downfall, when "we the people" have our votes questioned in court. "Activist" judges. Yep, they exists. Not all judges are appointed for life. Some are elected. Since they are elected, they will try to model the behavior of the people that elected them, and that can go either way in party affiliation, to be fair about it. How will we feel when a judge rules a few thousand votes should have been this instead of that? If that tips the scale, and now its advantage to the moments before loser of the election, how will we react/ That's a rhetorical question, of course, but think about that. I'll pray we won't have to deal with this, but with all the slimy maneuvering in the election, I think we will.

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