back to article Flooded inboxes derail New Jersey vote-by-email scheme

New Jersey's well-intentioned plans to allow voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy to vote by email or fax in the presidential elections on Tuesday predictably went awry. The plan permitting voters to download absentee ballots before returning them by either email or fax in order to cast their vote was only announced on Saturday …


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  1. jonathanb Silver badge

    What's the point of voting on Friday when the winner has already been announced?

    1. Lars Silver badge

      That decision was made before the winner was known, also the popular vote will have some interest even if the winner was known and the important thing to remember is the right to vote in the first place. Still I think international groups should be sent to the USA to monitor elections the way they monitor elections in eastern Europe and Africa.

      1. Blain Hamon
        Thumb Up

        "I think international groups should be sent to the USA to monitor elections"

        Apparently, OSCE did go to monitor several swing states where there was concerns.

  2. Dan Paul

    Ballots usually have more than one thing to vote on


    In the US, most ballots will have a dozen or so candidates running for various offices, NOT just the Presidential race but Senators, Congressmen, State Assembly & Legaslators, County Clerks etc etc etc.

    That's not even mentioning various ballot initiatives like the legalization of marijuana or gay marriage in several states this year

    THAT'S the reason why your ballot still counts after the election. We also have a significant number of "Absentee" ballots that are mailed in from even overseas that still need to be counted.

    With some State & County races being only a couple thousand votes apart, the absentee and provisional ballots can make a huge difference.

    They are also a source of voter fraud as evidenced during the 2008 election in Florida where large quantities of ballots just appeared from nowhere voting for Republican candidates.

  3. Anonymous C0ward

    And if you value the secrecy of the ballot box?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The whole system of "democracy" in the USA is flawed.

      The popular vote doesnt actually count towards anything. It is all decided by a few unelected officials that hold the electoral college posts. That is not democracy

      1. Eddy Ito

        "That is not democracy"

        Very good, silver star for you. It was never intended to be a democracy. It was laid out as a democratic republic. Besides, you must be aware that bit only counts for the single tick for both President and VP on the ballot, no? Give the Constitution a read and see how Federal elections were originally set up and you'll discover it was very different from what it is now. It was probably an attempt to keep it from becoming the pair of extremist mobs it is now. Of course given it's presently a populist mess and who gets elected to office nowadays it's probably a good thing they don't have more control like they originally did.

        Now then, you missed a gold star because for most of the voting the popular vote does count. You're mistaking the election for the selecting of the figurehead. A figurehead who probably has the least influence and gets blamed for most of the problems with anything but it evens out because he gets to take credit for all the good things that happen beyond his control. Seriously things like unemployment and gas prices, the President can do jack shit about either one in the long run.

      2. Robert A. Rosenberg

        Electoral College is Flawed

        Even the way the Electoral College (EC) is held is flawed. Each state gets 2 EC votes plus 1 vote for each Member of the House of Representatives it has (IOW: The same formula as is used to represent its Congressional Representation - 2 Senators and X House Seats). The problem is that instead of giving the 2 Statewide EC votes to whoever wins the Statewide Popular Vote (like is done for the Senate) and giving 1 EC vote to the winner of each House Election District (Like the House is elected), ALL of the state's ECs go to in a Winner Gets All manner based on the state-wide popular vote. Thus the results in the election districts are ignored and only the popular vote in the state counts. This means that it is possible to lose most of the Election Districts (close race) and still win all the ECs due to getting lots of votes in some of the EDs.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Electoral College is Flawed

          Except in states that have proportional representation for electors, which ... have proportional representation. But let us not let facts interfere with Your Peculiarly Capitalized Rant.

          And, of course, if all the states selected electors proportionally, there's a good chance that in some presidential elections (those with a significant third-party vote) we'd end up with no candidate getting a simple majority in the Electoral College. Then the House of Representatives has to vote among the top three candidates (by electoral votes), with one vote per state, until one achieves a majority.

          There's no way that could fail to represent the popular vote, could it? Oh, yes, it could. And considering how high the House's approval rating is, we can be pretty sure it'd usher in four years of general ill-will.

          So proportional selection of electors has at least one serious drawback too. Going to a pure popular vote shifts too much power to the populous states to make it palatable to the less-populous ones. There are certainly many ways that US presidential elections could be improved (increasing the required majority and employing an instant-runoff system might be a good idea), but it's not simple.

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