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Vote! (by mail)

Sunday, October 29, 2006
It's election time, folks! That's right, the mid-terms are here (and I'm not talking about tests) and it's time for us, the empowered voters in our representative economy to send new senators and representatives to Congress and pass a wave of new state, county, and city measures.

I am, as in many previous years, incredibly impressed by and enamored with Oregon's Vote-by-Mail process. I enjoy the fact that I have a week and a half before the day the ballots are due to "get around" to voting. I need not schedule my day around voting; I can schedule voting around my day. It also opens the door to a collaborate process. (My mother and I usually talk about the measures and candidates.)

Recently, more and more attention is being paid to electronic voting; the process of pushing a button on a screen and having your votes tallied that way. Over at Ars Technica, a wonderful article was written about the ease with which election fraud could be committed using electronic voting methods.

Me? With our convenient vote-by-mail process I don't worry about it. I'm convinced that my ballots are safe and easy to audit should it be necessary. Since it uses the same "fill-in-the-hole-with-a-number-2-pencil" method that I grew up with, I don't have to worry about "hanging chads". I love Oregon's electoral process and wish that it - not electronic voting - could become the method by which we preserve the voice and the will of the people.


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