Press "Enter" to skip to content

Don’t Make it Worse

Election Day was nine days ago, and we still haven’t completed counting ballots in the 1st Congressional District. Now one of the groups that had advocated for this paper ballot mess wants to further muddy our election process (subscription):

Lawmakers were urged Wednesday to revamp New Mexico law to allow people to register and vote on Election Day.

The goal, supporters told a legislative committee, is to increase voter participation in state elections.

Lawmakers also were asked to implement a more rigorous postelection system for random audits of voting machines— such as new tabulators used in this year’s general election— to ensure the equipment accurately counts ballots.

Seven states currently have same-day voter registration, which allows people to register on Election Day and then cast a ballot.

Stephen Fettig of Verified Voting New Mexico, a group that backed the state’s switch to a paper ballot voting system this year, said Election Day registration could be done on paper. People would fill out voter registration forms at polling places.

Mr. Fettig, haven’t you done enough harm already? We have been in limbo for nine days because of provisional and in lieu of ballots. Now you want to complicate matters more by allowing people to register to vote on Election Day?


And as long as we’re on the subject of election reform, how about we call this paper experiment for what it is? A total and complete failure. After taking part in the warehouse vote counting, I can tell you, this should do nothing to increase voter confidence.

We need to go back to electronic voting. Since we now have both types of machines, at the very least we could allow voters to decide how they prefer to vote. Going to the polling place would be like going to the supermarket. The precinct workers would check you in and ask, “paper or electronic?”

My guess is the majority of people would opt for electronic voting. If you want a paper trail on both ends, just make sure that the electronic machines print out a receipt for the voter – think ATM. If you want confidence in the software, just make sure it is open source.

Enough with this paper ballot fiasco. And I’m sorry, if you can’t take the time to register by the deadline, you just don’t deserve to vote.