Civic Duty

In their infinite wisdom and random good luck, Cobb County selected me as part of the 1% of all registered voters who were given a survey on the 2004 election process. The form itself consisted of 16 simple questions on 2 pages and was fairly easy to fill out. I did want to share my own stump speech about electronic voting which I left on the back of my survey, per the instructions.

It is completely irresponsible and short-sighted of the State of Georgia and Cobb County to advance a system of voting that relies 100% on only one means of vote-recording (electronic) and does not produce any tangible record or paper trail. I’ve had an ATM card for 12 years and I’ve ALWAYS gotten a receipt from the bank. I find it hard to fathom that in the 21st century the local and state governments of Georgia cannot produce adequate documentation that confirms my vote was correctly tallied or counted. It is an affront to citizens everywhere that our current voting system brings into question the legitimacy of any accurate and representative count and could potentially be abused without the knowledge or oversight of election officials. We sorely need to re-think the existing infrastructure and contemplate instituting some minimal fall-back methodology or even a simplistic paper record of EVERY voting transaction to protect against potential fraud or the mere appearance of impropriety. As it stands, we are doing a severe disservice to democracy by locking votes away in a black box that could be hacked open to skew results.

Thus ends the rant. I’ll try not to hurt myself as I get off my soapbox.

That being said, I think it’s great that my county solicits feedback on the voting experience. We have a wonderful pulpit here at this blog to help out civic causes and advance and affect change if we so desire.

I’m passionate about this particular topic and I’m glad Cobb County drew my name out of the hat, but all of us has the same power directly at our keyboards. If the past few weeks of Easongate (Why did no Atlanta blogger cover this? I work for Turner and I could have said something.) and Gannon/Guckert have taught us anything it’s the power of blogs.

Use it wisely, but use it nonetheless.

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