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waltonksm

Election Day

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I thought you might be interested in observing a bit of the organization of the USA Mid-Term Elections.  No doubt many of you have seen news stories about our polls, the long lines, and various problems with machines and voting.  I learned that only sophisticated machines that were "on-line" could be hacked by awful subversives.  At St. Mary's, Alaska, we have the hacking problem absolutely eliminated.  We actually did have an electronic machine (nope, not hooked to the internet.) Use was optional, and most people still preferred using a paper ballot. The machine started making strange noises after being used by only ten voters, so it was taken out of service. Our precinct opened at 7 AM, and closed at 8 PM.  Our automated (human) system had all of the votes tallied, and the results sent in to our regional elections office in only a little more than 2 hours.  Did I mention this is a Yup'ik village, and we had what is probably the largest turnout in our history?  Over 150 voters.  signed the precinct register today.

 

This first photo shows our polling place, with our private "booths" for confidential voting.  It is considered poor form to walk around looking over shoulders to see how someone has marked a ballot. 

 

The Polls are Open

 

Once our polls closed at 8 PM, our election officials began the task of tallying up the votes.  No chance of stuffing a ballot box in our precinct. Just before taking these photos tonight I listened to a live broadcast from our Public Broadcasting System. The commentators had been on the air for 30 minutes, and the current caller was wondering how our State Division of Elections could be so incompetent that we did not have almost complete counts ready to give to the public. He sounded like an expert, and kept harping on the incompetency of the State of Alaska. We were one of the precincts that had not yet reported our totals.

 

Tallying the Ballots

 

And one last check before phoning in the results to our regional elections office at Nome, Alaska.

 

Tallying up the ballots

 

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Nice to see behind the scenes, Walton. The problem with all elections in my view is that they result in a government. ;) (given the state of our world and it's governments I am fast leaning towards becoming an anarchist!), 

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It is of course said that electorates get the politicians they deserve!

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I may only be 50 years old, but in my lifetime I have never experienced, or known of a single government that is admirable in any way, hence my anarchistic tendencies. Anyway, let's not get into politics, since it is a forbidden subject on this forum. 

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Interesting shots.

 

I doubt the returning officer would allow photographs to be taken in our polling places even though they're in public buildings (usually schools and the like), but I've always found it amusing (and thus always am tempted to have a go in taking photos and suffering the consequences, if any) that they supply collapsible cardboard "booths" built along the lines of a couple of cardboard boxes stacked on top of each other, and that the writing implements supplied are standard graphite pencils, which surely must be the easiest thing imaginable to rub out to alter votes should a bunch for crooked tally officers get to work behind closed doors after the polling places are shut. Granted the lack of electronic voting means that hacking isn't a problem, but on the face of it ours must be one of the most insecure voting systems in the OECD.

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As a friend of mine used to say, better to ask for forgiveness later than for permission now.   The thought did occur to me that my photos were not "legal."  But yes, it is a public building. And I "control" the building. Our ballots have no identifying marks on them, so even if  you could read some of the choices, it could n ot be traced to an individuaL VOTER.

 

Ours are read by hand, not machine, and we are given cheap ballpoint pens to fill in the little circles.

 

 

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Our national elections are next year. I'm not even sure if there is a single party worth voting for in our country given the kind of fisticuffs seen in our "parliament" this week between opposition parties. If you can stomach it watch here. 

 

 

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