Ballot with Butterfly Wings: On Voting Electronically

I voted today.  By machine.

It made me feel very, very nervous during my entire time in the voting booth.

And it took an excessively long time to leave the booth because there were at least eight constitutional amendments on the ballot, and I wanted to make sure that the text lined up with the summaries I'd seen.  I ultimately voted against one because it was just too ridiculously long.  I voted against others if I was in any doubt of the precise meaning and full implications of the text - as one should when dealing with constitutional amendments, which should be made sparingly.

I was also a bit nervous because the Parish Registrar of Voters failed to process my change-of-address request from over a month ago, which ultimately led me to confirm my proper polling place with the Secretary of State's office recently.

So, anyway, I voted.  I pushed spots on the screen and green lights came on.  At the end, I pushed a button and all the lights went away.  I hope my voted counted.  The whole process seemed needlessly technological and impermanent.  How about a pencil?  Now that I think of it, I also don't know how or if I could have written in any candidates.

The layout of the ballot - with a giant paper insert under a flimsy plastic screen - made things interesting.  The ballot didn't touch the screen evenly at all points, so some names stuck out clear and bold.  Others were dim and slightly folded away - it made reading the text of the amendments difficult as well.

Just as I felt back in college when electronic voting was introduced in student elections over my protest, I felt a deep tug of concern.  Sure, this is the wave of the future in the eyes of many.  But why?

Give me the old Luddite write-on-paper ballot any day.  Weaving technology into the voting process does not give me one ounce of additional confidence in the system, even if it does provide convenience and better turnaround when it comes to tallying votes.