Friday, January 25, 2008

I Know I'm Just Gonna Keep Thinking About It

OK, so I went and voted early today in the California primary, and I used one of these new computerized voting machines. While I'm using my right hand to push buttons, I'm holding and reading the things I marked on my sample ballot in my left. After choosing who and what to vote for, or against, I come to a screen that asks me if I want to accept or decline a paper verification printout. This verification printout is supposed to be like a receipt from a retail store. If you push the "Decline" icon, the computer assumes you don't want to cast your ballot, and asks if you want to start over.

Since I wanted to cast my ballot, I pushed the "Accept" icon expecting something to be printed out somewhere. All the while, I was still holding up my marked sample ballot in my left hand. When I didn't see anything printed out anywhere, I went ahead and just pushed the "Cast Ballot" button. After doing this, I lowered my left hand and noticed a small window by the side of the computer screen I had been using. Inside the window was apparently my paper verification printout. Unfortunately, by the time I noticed the printout, it was starting to scroll back into the machine, so I didn't get to see if it matched what I had selected on the computer.

Although I'm pretty sure my ballot was correctly cast by the computer, the small sense of doubt created by my failure to see the verification printout just irks me. I should have just voted by absentee ballot...

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