How to avoid broken elections

Dear Editor,

The national elections started yesterday with the chaotic collapse of the Democratic caucus in Iowa, due to a software failure. As of this writing, Iowa has no results whatsoever to declare. Ironically (and predictably) the problem is due to a desire to get tallies as quickly as possible – with reliability obviously ranking lower. Along with the other recent failures of electronic voting systems, some similar to our own new system here in Warren, this serves as a warning for us all. Iowa democrats may be able to piece together some convincing results soon, but the longer effect is a withering confidence in an electoral system that is dependent on electronics.

Here is the reminder: Hand-marked, hand-counted paper has no coding to fail, and an election based on it will not fail due to coding errors, coding malfeasance, power issues, or a host of other down- and up-stream potential problems.

And now here is a new work-around solution: If you want your own vote to count here for sure in upcoming elections, there is, happily, an option recently enabled by the state. You can contact Lisa Rivett (lzuck@warren-county.net / 728-3406) and request a new “any reason” Mail-In Ballot. Do it today. You can fill it out at your leisure and mail or hand-deliver it (by voter only!) to the County Courthouse, any time until 8pm on election night. Check the option to have this your preferred method of voting every year, and you won’t be subject to a failure in our new Ballot Marking machines or the long lines it has been creating in the precincts and around the country. You also won’t have to disrupt your Tuesday by having to get to the precinct in whatever weather we might have.

Until we go to all hand-marked ballots here, this is not only the most convenient, but also the most reliable method to vote. Make your voice count.


Thomas Paquette,



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