How to do an election - some simple technology

If you have elections then you live in a democracy, right? Not necessarily.

The other night I watched the film Recount on television. It is based on true events in the presidential election of 2000 in the United States and especially about the disputed votes in Florida.  The election was very close and in the end George W Bush was declared the winner by the Supreme Court but only after a close vote by the judges. 

Should Bush really have won?  I am one of many people who think not.  As it says in the film, "Every vote from every citizen deserves to be counted".  Also of course people do not deserve to be taken off the voters' rolls because of mistakes or confusion, such as having a name similar to someone who did not have the right to vote. I suspect that there may even have been a deliberate policy to steal the election by making it more difficult for poorer or African-American voters to have their say. 

How would history have been different if Gore had been awarded the presidency? It may be hypothetical but it is a very interesting question.   

Eight years on there is very soon to be another election to decide the president of the USA and the world is showing great interest.  Obama or McCain? I am not saying who I would favour but maybe you can guess! 

The NAACP is doing everything in its power to ensure that the votes of black citizens are protected and counted in this 2008 election, with a focus on districts where there is a history of voting problems.   

The United States is always claiming to be a democracy and telling other countries to be more democratic but could surely learn a lot.  It is maybe a bit late now for me to point out some simple technology that has worked well for many years over on this side of the Atlantic; we use a pencil to put a cross in a box next to the candidate we favour.  If the result is close or in dispute then there is a paper trail to be checked with ballot papers that the candidates can inspect.  Now we have the option to vote by electronic methods but I like to walk to the polling station to make my mark on paper, thank you.

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