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By Robert Silver
Why not use ATMs as voting machines?

The 2000 presidential election turned into a national fiasco due mainly to the archaic manner in which we count votes. There is a solution using modern day technology so that this might never happen again. Through-out the US, Canada, and in much of the civilized world, there is already in-place a secure infrastructure for collecting votes. There are computer terminals in gas stations, banks, super markets etc. called ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines).

There are over a half a million ATMs worldwide. Everyday, billions of dollars worth of monetary transactions move through this system with a tremendously high degree of security. Some not-so-obvious benefits are that it would lessen the amount of absentee ballots. A U.S. citizen could vote from anywhere in the world where an ATM is located, with their selections tallied as easily, quickly and accurately as a person voting within the United States.

In addition, the voting would not have to be done all in one day, which could increase voter turnout. It could be done over a period of time preceding Election Day. The results from each state could be immediately tallied and presented to the media after all the votes are counted.

How would it work? Each state would issue a voting card in the same way some do now. Like a credit card, it would be inserted into any ATM. A voter card would give a person’s personal identification number, to assure the identity of the voter. Candidate options would appear on-screen, and the voter’s selection would be recorded. The card could either be destroyed or saved depending on the requirements of the state.

Reward: I would like to be the project manager to get this going at either a state or federal level.
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By Steve
I think the main problem is that someone has to confirm your identity (and that, apparently, for good reasons). What if you lose your card?
By Robert Silver
After the 2000 election counting debacle I published a website (no longer on the web) which addressed a lot of the problems that visitors to the web site expressed. The space requirements on Creativity Pool is not large enough to enumerate the details.
By jackjohnson
I like the idea. Just answer Steve's question. But does it really matter if a few lose their card?
By Robert Silver
The best answer is to remember that this is an ATM. The way to think about it is that if you lost your ATM card you can't get any cash from the ATM. You would have to apply for a new card. The same with voting. Maybe I should re-activate my web site. There are a lot of answers to a lot of questions.
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By Steve
"Does it really matter if a few grey-haired vegetables from Florida are unable to punch their ballot cards?" - Well, sometimes it does... :-D

The problem is that the whole thing is a matter of principle. If only one person loses his card and somebody else votes for him, the whole result of the election is tainted. Sure, it may be only a 0.something percentage, but election results have been annulled for fewer reasons. Although the main issues with this system probably aren't the sloppiness of a few, but theft and forgery. A system where you don't have to go somewhere in person is very prone to this. One of many great places to abuse this system would be an old people's home ("Hey, this guy can't move, no problem, I'll do him a favour and do the voting for him. What, he's already dead? What the hell...").
By Robert Silver
Like the cash ATM, you would still need a PIN # in order to use the card.
By ftfmayo
O.K. Its quite probable that electronic voting, in some form, will become a reality, someday. But the use of ATM machines seems farfetched, if for no other reason, it seems that an awful lot of people seem to be unable to master the intricasies of the paper ballot. And without all of that hanging chad, what evidence would there be to help us deduce the voters true intent. Also, if you use that pin to verify a voters identity, you can also use it to find out that that Mrs. Jones is really a closet republican! And the process of obtaining your card would undoubtably be difficult. After a little more thought, I retract my opening comment.
By jackjohnson
Things are only as complicated as we make them.

You seem to want to make them very complicated.
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By Steve
Jackjohnson, your previous post has been deleted. Unnecessary roughness. 15 yards penalty, first down.
By jackjohnson
> Jackjohnson, your previous post has been deleted. Unnecessary roughness. 15 yards penalty, first down.

'Unncessary roughness'. I think it is just what posts need. But I did that kind of breaking down elsewhere too, so don't worry. Ppl will probably pick up on it.

ftfmayo, if you are wondering: Among things I commented on the fact how you push the reality of electronic voting into the future.

But, Steve, you must see my point? It's there. Also that last sentence: ', I retract my opening sentence.' It's right there! Nothing retracted!

I think when you don't know what you are up against, it can be harder than an assault you are very aware off.

And I think ftfmayo could've taken it. mayo?
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By Steve
It's not a matter what you say but how you say it. "No spittin', no swearin'..." as stated above. Feel free to say what you like, but please don't insult others. We both know your post, so I hope we both know what I mean. ;-)
By jackjohnson
> It's not a matter what you say but how you say it. "No spittin', no swearin'..." as stated above. Feel free to say what you like, but please don't insult others.

My point was that I was insulted. And I insulted by showing that I was insulted.

Maybe in a whole it was too much, as a foucs on one person, as I'm sure we all use ''unconsious'' tactics to have our posts stand.

You -know- there are sick ppl out there who do sick secret messaging. It's obvious and almost none of us want to even read it because it's too annoying.
User avatar
By Steve
If you get a sick secret message, please forward it to me and I'll take care of it. As far is this thread is concerned, I see no evidence that someone wanted to insult you (attacking other ideas is perfectly alright, while attacking other people or becoming personally rude is not), and if there are misunderstandings it's my job to make sure that they don't escalate.

Anyway, back to that ATM idea... :-]
By ftfmayo
My apologies to anyone I offended with my response to this post, my comments were nothing more than my halfwitted attempt at humor and added nothing new or constructive to the original post.

Does anyone remember the scene in caddyshack when a candy bar in the water clears the pool to screams of doo-doo. I seem to have dropped my candy bar in the creativity pool! I hereby eat my words by taking a symbolic bite of that waterlogged candy bar, sorry about all the fuss, it only looks like a turd. Come on back in the waters fine.

I vote my post be forever banished from the pool! (geez, I'm really sorry, but that sarcastic little voice in the back of my head said "by ATM" as soon as I typed vote. Sorry.
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