: views from the Hill

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Voting, elections and paper trails

Spent the day at Stanford yesterday for his nibs' once-every-five-years reunion. As part of the program his class convened a panel of five classmates who talked about their lives since Stanford. His class has been around for a while, so there've been many years "since Stanford." All the stories were interesting.

One of the panelists was a woman who'd been in the Peace Corps and then been a middle school math teacher and administrator for years. She'd "retired" from that job years ago to sign on as an international elections observer with the UN Electoral Assistance Program and other agencies. She told stories about facing your fears, of not getting paralyzed with fear when situations got dicey, of getting out of East Timor before the election results were announced, of observing elections in Macedonia and other places.

Her comment that I'd like to pass on:

A word on voting machines. From my experience observing elections worldwide, you should ALWAYS have a paper trail in case there is a need for a recount. ALWAYS.

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