I used to love going to the polls to vote. But then the poll workers in my precinct got older and I had to show them where my name was located on the rolls. That was okay. But when I started voting for candidates based on something like gender, I knew I had to change.
So I began voting by mail. It made my life easier because I could have all of the voting information, whether partisan (sent by the candidates or their supporters) or non partisan (the Voters Pamphlet at my side.
Now I'm an overseas voter and so I must vote by mail. And after reading about all of the problems with voting machines, I'm glad that I have a piece of paper which can be tracked and verified.
However, I can't believe that the same failed voting machine companies (they just seem to change their names) are involved with the absentee counting. I don't trust Diebold, ES&S, or any of the other companies.
If you think I'm paranoid, ask the Secretaries of State in California (a Democrat) or Colorado (a Republican). They have the same concerns and issues.
I don't believe there was fraud in the 2004 election. But I do think that expecting to track hundreds of thousands of ballots with no mishaps is naive. I don't know of any agency or organization that can do so.
We need to work together to reinstill trust in our elections and accusing hard working staff of deliberate fraud isn't the way to go.
I published an unedited version of this on the Seattle Post Intelligencer's web site earlier today. After some thinking about the subject I made some edits.