Well, not literally.
I remember lying in bed with my husband as we waited to find out if Bush or Gore was going to be the next president of the United States. Just before the polls ACTUALLY closed in Florida (something the news got wrong, thinking they closed at 7pm EST when they actually closed at 8Pm EST due to part of the state is in a different time zone, the part that generally votes republican), the state was declared a Gore state. One survey estimated that this confusion could have stopped voters from voting, potentially reducing Bush’s margin of victory. This blunder ended with the state being “too close to call”. When Bush won on election night, because it was such a small margin, Florida state law requires a recount, thus the hanging chad incident. It was the “butterfly ballot” that produced “unexpected results” Essentially, outdated technology failed. Bob of course, is thinking, but what if it didn’t? Or did it really fail? I’m sure this will end up in a Time Patrol Novel somewhere.
The only reason I bring this up is there is a new ‘chad’ in town. Part of it is social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. They really are changing the way we do EVERYTHING and influencing opinions.
The news reports “Trump tweeted today…” “Hillary responded via twitter…” Perhaps we should vote via twitter?
Social Media is real time, so the candidates do something, anything, we see it immediately because someone is going to post it. I also find that generally people post what they don’t like, instead of what they do like. People outraged over Trump’s latest curse word, or outraged over Hillary’s emails.
One thing in the news right now, partly because of the email situation, is the protection of our election system from hackers. Because the system is dated, it wouldn’t take much to change the outcome of an election.
One solution could be to update the technology. Well, Virginia did that and it was deemed the worst voting machine in the US. The technology was essentially a laptop with a touchscreen running on windows. This technology was used in other states, also decertified, but last year, it was decertified in Virginia after the system kept crashing. There were a lot of reasons that went into the crashes, but one of the biggest was that the system was fragile. You can read more about this here.
Another solution could be, especially to protect against foreign hackers, would be to go to a paper-based election. The logistics of that could potentially be a nightmare, and lets face it, election rigging is not uncommon.
I’m really a fan of technology, but I understand that while the creation of technology might solve one problem, it could potentially create others.