For a Democratic Party desperate to unseat President Trump in November, the primary election process has been filled with large-scale technology failure, official miscalculations, voter annoyance and public embarrassment, not to mention piles of money spent in pursuit of an improved 21st-century process that turned out to be worse than what they had.

They might have been better to just pass out paper ballots and pencils.

voting-machine

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cornelluniversitylibrary/4360087958

It’s no secret that America’s election process has fallen decades behind the capabilities of modern technology. The big issue is how to ensure that hackers don’t emerge from the Dark Web to stick their fingers in the mix in order to prevent votes from being counted quickly and reliably. Let’s take a look at a couple of public failures, Iowa and Los Angeles, to learn what went wrong and how best to create secure voting systems before the 2020 presidential election.

The Iowa Caucuses

First up in the primary season is a (some would say) antiquated process that isn’t really a primary at all but rather something called a caucus. We’re all familiar with a typical primary. You go to the polls and vote like a sane human being.

A caucus is a cat of a different flavor. Before voting, those who want to make their voice heard gather around the state in a series of smallish precinct meetings (there are 1,700+) and try to come to a conclusion on which candidate each precinct supports.

caucus-map

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2020IAGOPcaucus.svg

Iowa Republicans typically caucus in an orderly manner. Secret ballots are cast and delegates are apportioned by the results, a process not unlike a primary. But the Democratic caucus involves a lot of public shouting, arguing, and trying to persuade everyone in the room to vote one way or another.

As you (Read more...)