We still don’t have …

We still don’t have a President-elect here in the United States. This is ridiculous. I’ve been following the Florida ballot debate pretty closely and am in agreement that some ballots were very poorly designed. The punch-card style ballots that violated Florida state law because it was possible to vote for more than one candidate are a crime. This entire vote should be discarded completely or that county should be forced to do a re-vote. Another solution would be to take the county vote averages and apply them to the disputed counties, and then declare a winner based on those numbers.

Solutions to the ballot design problems are popping up all over usability mailing lists I’m subscribed to. Some people are declaring that the design of all ballots nationwide should be the same. Others are saying that ballots should use fill-in-the-bubble style of design, since that’s what’s been used for tests in public schools for the last two decades, and the majority of people would be familiar with it.

Perhaps the biggest issue with voting in America is not the design of the ballots or the stupid media calling the outcome of States before all the votes were counted. In my mind, the biggest problem is that not enough people vote. Why is this? Are people too busy? Do they just not care? Or perhaps, they are intimidated by the act of voting: going to the polling location, waiting in line, fearing that they’re going to make a mistake and look foolish. Maybe this is why so many people would like to see electronic voting put in place. People could vote from their homes, where they are more comfortable about making such decisions. Take the time to study the candidates, view their stances on issues, and make an informed decision. Too many times, I’ve watched people come out of the voting booth scratching their heads, wondering if they made the right choice, or even used the machine correctly.

This article made me think of a novel idea. What if Bush and Gore were somehow both allowed to be co-Presidents.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at November 10, 2000 05:50 PM

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