Ohio already has an optical scan network in place… you just won’t believe where.

So, the Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner wants to put an optical scan system into place for the November election:

Will Ohio overhaul its voting systems?
For the Nov. 4 presidential election, Brunner wants to scrap $81.7 million in electronic touch-screen voting machines and spend $31 million for a new system that uses paper ballots tabulated on optical scan equipment.

Brunner’s plan would fundamentally change how most Ohioans vote, including greatly expanding absentee voting.

She’s set a deadline. With the November election looming, she wants the legislature and Strickland to come up with the money and make other changes by mid-April.

Being the creative geek that I am, I’m wondering if we can’t use an optical scan system already in place, owned by the state, with more locations than we have bingo halls- are you ready for another big idea?

The lottery terminals are an optical scan card reading system- and are all over the state. Maybe we use our tested (and apparently trusted- since people wage millions using it each week) gambling system to record our votes in our political gambling system? Can’t give any worse results than the last few elections can it?

Ohio retailers would love the extra traffic, and maybe, we just for fun, throw in a cool reward system for voting at the same time- one lucky voter per congressional district  becomes an instant million dollar winner, just like our current congress. Place a bet, we’d have better turnout.

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11 Responses

  1. D. Greene January 7, 2008 / 9:33 am
    I am curious Mr. Esrati, who are you endorsing for President in the Democratic primaries? Anyone yet or is it too early for you to make that call?

    What are your foreign policy views as well? I am a registered voter, independent of any party, by the way, which I believe means I have the option of voting in any primary I choose this March.

    In any case, good luck with your run for office, but I would be careful with running a “Taxes Are Good” campaign, Daytonians of all stripes are pretty tired of being taxed to the hilt and getting little return on their dollar. All the money seems to be pocketed in the hands of a few as it is. How will you change that?

    Cheers,

    D. Greene

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  2. David Esrati January 7, 2008 / 9:46 am

    I’m voting for the democrat who is running in November.
    When I take the “which candidate are you” tests- I almost always come up with Gravel first, Kucinich second.
    None of this matters, because by the time I get to vote, they probably won’t still be candidates.
    The point of “Taxes are Good*™” is that when used correctly, we are making an investment in our country- not an investment that benefits those who have been elected- I think Americans are smarter than we give them credit (except when it comes to electing GWB- but that may have been partially caused by bad ballot systems- hence this post).
    Foreign policy will be covered soon.

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  3. tom January 7, 2008 / 1:03 pm
    ufortunate ly gb was a lesser of two evils and i see a few people here are still blind or on there side the other side of the constitution i will be voting for ron paul lets face it idiots there is to to much crime in america from the poor on the street all the way to the suppereme judges wake up its your country to

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  4. D. Greene January 7, 2008 / 1:24 pm
    Tom: I am a Ron Paul supporter, but please type more slowly in the future so we know precisely what you are saying. Also, there is no need for insults, politics is acrimonious enough as it is.

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  5. Andy January 7, 2008 / 4:45 pm
    This is an absolutely fantastic idea!

    The infrastructure is already in place.
    Darn near everyone who has ever filled out a ticket would know how to fill in the card correctly.
    You can pick up a six-pack on the way out the door.

    Therefore it is absolutely never going to happen.
    We cant have the unwashed masses turning out to vote for just anyone we don’t choose for them.
    And it might expose the true workings of the lottery system, and we don’t want to answer any “uncomfortable” questions now do we?

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  6. Greg Hunter January 8, 2008 / 9:02 am
    I think this is a great idea, but as Andy says it will not happen. We could end up like the Swiss and vote on every thing, but who wants anybody in Ohio to be happy. Happiness is National Championship and nothing else will do!

    Or to Switzerland, where contentment means living in a democracy in which people have real power over their choices and trust others to carry them out.

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  7. David Esrati February 8, 2008 / 12:38 pm

    Pat G-
    I don’t know where you get this idea doesn’t include PAPER BALLOTS- which are then SCANNED through the lottery terminals for tabulation purposes. The lottery terminals even print out a RECEIPT! How much can they screw up?
    They can then be VERIFIED again- since there is STILL A PAPER ballot.
    Computers can count faster, and more accurately than boards of elections.
    For a programmer such as yourself- to not know the validity of scan cards makes me suspect of your credentials.

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  8. David Esrati February 8, 2008 / 6:19 pm

    Hi Pat,
    Conspiracy theories are nice- but, fraud can happen with hand counts and tabulations as well. There have been stories of people voting twice or more in West Dayton for years. I choose not to be such a skeptic. I was offering a solution that wouldn’t cost 31 million dollars to buy new scan card readers- using existing readers, ballots with simple check boxes- and that print a receipt for every voter.
    That’s all.

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  9. Pat G February 8, 2008 / 6:36 pm
    What I have described is not a conspiracy theory. It is a fact as reported in many localities by concerned citizens. As long as we have our votes disappear from sight before they are counted and reported, we will continue to suffer faith-based elections and to be represented by unelected thieves.

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  10. Bruce Kettelle February 9, 2008 / 10:11 am
    Pat and David you are both right. I beleive in finding common ground and I see some here.

    David is correct that the saved scan cards will serve adequately as paper ballots for recounts.

    Without a random, statistically sound verification of the results the computer generated outcome may be suspect. Current rules only require recounts if the end result is close. A better solution is to hand recount a minimum number of precincts chosen out of a hat after the election.

    Obviously Ohio’s current machines do not provide a dependable paper ballot trail.

    Only question that remains; Will the lottery players revolt if the lottery is unavailable two Tuesdays a year? (I can’t wait to be able to vote at Speedway)

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  11. Juan February 9, 2008 / 10:39 am
    So, how’s this for an idea?…..

    **Each voter registers a SECRET PIN with the BOE.

    **The BOE MAILS the ballots to the address they have on file. These ballots are printed at the BOE and are “personalized” (ie-serialized and have the voter’s name printed on them)

    **The voter fills in the ballot based on their choices. They also fill in the PIN number.

    **The voter goes to Speedway (at least Bruce does) or some other lottery outlet, preferably in their voting district, shows ID to the clerk. The clerk scans the ballot, a receipt prints and is handed back to the voter, the ballot is not only recorded in the computer, but the hard copy is deposited in a secure box provided by the BOE. You’re in and out of there in about 30 seconds and you can get a cup of coffee and a pack of smokes to boot!

    Before everyone starts screaming about the “secret ballot”, I believe that the old paper ballots had a number on them. That number was recorded by the blue haired lady at the polling place. I THINK (someone will correct me if I’m wrong) that number stays with the ballot (although I know part of that ballot is seperated when they put it in a box). But the PIN ensures that the person filling out the ballot (at least before hubby erases the wife’s ballot on the way to Speedway) is the person it’s intended for.

    This could keep the polls “open” for a longer period, save thousands of $$$ by not paying the old folks (including my parents) to man the polls and provide nearly instantaneous results.

    You know, David…When you first wrote about this I thought it was kind of a crazy idea, but I’m starting to like it now. News Flash – Hell Freezes Over! ;)

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