Sunday, October 9, 2011

Montezuma Voting Was A Mess, Too

Voting at Montezuma Elementary School was a mess, too, in Albuquerque’s city election on Tuesday. This information comes from one of the poll workers which whom I happened to visit this morning.

Through about 3 P.M., he said, the voting machines worked sometimes. When they didn’t work, the lines grew.

A bigger problem, a true system problem, came from the poll workers. Well intended as poll workers almost always are, some of the people had slight to zero computer experience. This is a function of demographics. Poll workers tend to be older. One Montezuma worker had never dealt with a computer mouse. They simply did not deal with the technology as effectively as a 14-year-old or even a 34-year-old. Training will not fix this problem.

Apparently the convenience of the new approach has to do with the technology allowing faster processing of the voters. Even if that’s true, which dubious, so what. Getting ballots to voters is a quick process. Doing something in two minutes instead of four minutes seems a trivial change not worth the disruption. Consolidating the polling places seems to have to do with getting enough voters into polling places to justify the technology.

My sense is that this so-called convenience is something that voting powers-that-be have decided is a good thing. Their attitude is, James Taylor put it, “Well, I'm a steamroller, baby I'm bound to roll all over you.” Time to resist.

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