The US voting infrastructure is broken and a threat to democracy

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Deja vu all over again.


Andrew Yang has one word for you: blockchain.

Granted, that sounds exactly like the kind of oversimplified, one-size-fits-all tech-based handwaving solution to a highly complex and nuanced problem that tech bros are infamous for, but he’s rich so clearly he must know what he’s talking about.


I don’t know enough about blockchain to know how viable this idea is, but I do know that this is why we need people younger than septuagenarians in the running.


I know that any voting system that depends on technology for every step of the process (instead of, say, paper ballots that are merely tallied by machine and can be audited by hand if necessary) requires us to put all our faith in whoever controls the technology. That’s a recipe for disaster.


Ah, no. We don’t need MORE tech. We need paper ballots and proper counting to be performed. Yes, democracy might have to wait a few more fucking hours to learn the result. Too bad, democracy can take it slow and get it right.

This app was an example of “oh my god, we need faster results for the news cycle!” and rushing to provide a solution that made no sense and no one wanted (EDIT: and I should add no one tested properly, either). No… no we don’t need that. The news can sit on the thumbs and spin for all I care. We need voting that works, that maximizes participation, and that works to get it right and ensure all votes are properly counted. And THAT technology has existed for decades.

The higher the tech solution, the more likely it’ll be a fat giant fail.


Or as Scotty once put it:



I agree with you the press should have limited freedom. LOL see where I went there? But seriously though, these vultures are just profiting from the election, just like the russians. More clicks, more clickbait.

Paper ballots, reporting must wait … 36 hours before it’s allowed on nationwide broadcast, everyone gets the day off, or the day before off, voting and voter education is compulsory… these are all good steps you won’t see this fractured butt hole of a country take.

One thing though, the US isn’t a democracy, stop calling it one.

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I do know enough about blockchain…

I’m one of the tech people in the XKCD cartoon.

Paper ballots are the only way to go.


Give a bunch of retired volunteer poll workers a new, barely tested mobile app. What could go wrong?


A fix for voter suppression and gerrymandering would be nice, too.


The republican dirty tricksters did try to clog up the phone lines. The convoluted “security” protocols surrounding the app were inspired by such fears.


Here in Canada we have paper ballots, at least in federal elections and most provinces (some variations exist between provinces and some municipal elections here in BC use voting machines that read a paper ballot).

We have the results pretty quickly, and we all have confidence in the outcome. Still the archaic, dysfunctional FPTP system, but at least the counts are accurate within reasonable tolerances.


The press definitely profits from making it a game. And competing against each other as well, which only increases pressure for voting results to come out quickly (which should be resisted).

I do like the many calls I’m hearing for planned delays in reporting results. The hard part would be shutting up the campaigns. Pete was claiming victory without a single vote having been counted yet. Now it appears he might actually have come in second.

Note: not going to touch the democracy comment, that way lies a lot of back and forth and pedantry and only diverts from the thread.


Is there anything blockchain can’t do? It’s a miracle! It can cure the blind! Reunited estranged family! Bring back all your dead pets!

as well as ways to mitigate the problems.


That kind of thing predates both computerized voting and the 24 hr news cycle.


Yep, I know. That’s why I think that would be the hardest part of any count delay. You have to allow for the campaigns to witness/monitor the count to ensure integrity, at which point there’s no good way to shut a candidate up about what they’re seeing.

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Maybe that would be an acceptable replacement for drool-flinging real-time premature results reporting for the media: real-time reporting of which candidate is claiming victory, with finger-wagging reminders that no one actually knows the outcome. Yet. Stay tuned.

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Paper is the future: