November 8, 2012
Notes from the cove
Chelsea DeLorme took this photo showing what it was like to vote in my town in Maine. Black pencils instead of buttons to push. And then you slide your ballot into an electronic vote counter. So the vote is counted electronically and also available for a manual count if necessary.
I suspect that one reason for the long lines in many places is because the equipment is too expensive for what it produces and thus budget conscious communities don't buy enough of it. As Tim Heffeman put it in Popular Mechanics: "Paper and pencils cost relatively little. They require no maintenance. By contrast, touchscreens sell for roughly $6000 apiece... 'For every machine that's purchased,' one expert says, 'there's a picture of a schoolteacher who wasn't hired.'" - Sam Smith