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2015 Federal Election
#11
So advance polling is open this weekend! Get out there and vote.

I did but the polling station I went to must have still been figuring things out, because they were only processing about 60-90 PPH max. I got there 10 minutes before opening and still waited over 20 minutes. This should be a 15-seconds per person tops kinda thing.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#12
(10-10-2015, 02:27 PM)Canard Wrote: I did but the polling station I went to must have still been figuring things out, because they were only processing about 60-90 PPH max.  I got there 10 minutes before opening and still waited over 20 minutes.  This should be a 15-seconds per person tops kinda thing.

According to Dr Google advance polls have been moving slowly across the land, e.g. 
Long lines slow Winnipeg voters on 1st day of advance polls
Advance polls: long waits and a protest clown [Montréal]
LETTER: ADVANCE POLLING DELAYS ARE AN AFFRONT TO DEMOCRACY [Ottawa]
Advance polls slow [Owen Sound]
Uxbridge advance polls are slow ahead of election day

The good news is that at least some of this is due to the large number of people who are showing up to vote. That bodes well for those who want to see a change in government. OTOH there are reports that the slowness is in part the result of the "reforms" in Steve's Unfair Elections Act.

Added... Some news reports attribute slowness at the advance polls to the requirement that voters must complete registration forms in writing. Apparently Elections Canada can't use the details they already have in the database that produced the poll notification cards they mailed out a couple of weeks ago to pre-fill the registration forms (or do with the registration forms altogether.) Welcome to the 21st century in voting technology.
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#13
Yeah - I witnessed this today. Part of the 1-1.5 minutes it took per person to vote was that the clerk first had to locate my name on a list, stroke it off, and then had to copy down all the information from the voter card onto some kind of form or log book (which I then signed). This had to be done for every single voter.

Why can't they just buy a couple thousand iPads and use the Touch ID pad, you just touch that, press one button for who you want to vote for and you're done in 3 seconds? Or (gasp!) vote online??? It's frickin' 2015.

I spend a lot of my vacations at theme parks and over the past 20 years have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours in queue lines watching operations and studying inefficiencies in real life, and it drives me absolutely bonkers to see just how bad and embarrassingly ancient this process was/still is.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#14
I profess software engineering. I don't trust software with something as important as an election. The problem is that if there is no audit trail, it is really easy to steal an election and no one would know. People have thought about this problem a lot.

The cities do have voting machines which leave an audit trail. They're fine.

It is not the voting itself that takes a lot of time. It is the paperwork leading up to the vote.
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#15
(10-10-2015, 04:28 PM)Canard Wrote: Why can't they just buy a couple thousand iPads and use the Touch ID pad, you just touch that, press one button for who you want to vote for and you're done in 3 seconds?  Or (gasp!) vote online???  It's frickin' 2015.

Because it cannot be done securely with current technology. Period. End of story.

Anybody who argues otherwise either is not a security expert or is trying to sell voting machines.

It may be possible with future technology, but personally I doubt it. The reasons it cannot be done securely now aren’t things like insufficient storage space or processor power that might reasonably be expected to get better with time; instead, there is a fundamental conflict between the requirement for a secret ballot and the requirement for auditability. The usual comparison you may have heard with banking security is completely invalid because in banking transactions are not secret. In case it’s not clear, when I say it’s “completely invalid”, you may take that as an accusation of dishonesty or incompetence against anybody advancing the argument — either the person is lying, or they are falsely presenting themselves as implicitly knowledgeable in computer security.

I myself am not a computer security expert, but I know enough about the subject to know what I know and don’t know.

The real fix to long lines is simply to provide sufficient resources, or to change the way the process is organized. It just now occurred to me that it could work to make an appointment online to vote, then show up at the appointed time. The system could manage the appointments so there is essentially no waiting time at the polling place. I don’t believe there is any serious fundamental security problem with using computers to book a time to vote. This would also provide knowledge ahead of time that certain times were popular, which could allow provisioning additional resources only when needed.
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#16
I didn't have to stand in line yesterday. It took me two minutes to get signed in, vote and leave.
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#17
I did have to stand in line behind about three people. It took about a ten minute wait for those three people to be processed. I'm not complaining about a ten minute wait, but the two women behind me were. There were two clerks at the desk, and they had to wait for the previous voter to actually return with the ballot and deposit it to start registering the next voter. As with all line ups, it can be delayed if someone put his ID back in his wallet, or actually takes his voting decision while he has the ballot.

Maybe it is higher turnout, which would be a good thing. I vote in advanced polls as a matter of course, and have in the past voted without seeing another voter in the station.
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#18
(10-11-2015, 05:35 AM)MidTowner Wrote: I did have to stand in line behind about three people. It took about a ten minute wait for those three people to be processed. I'm not complaining about a ten minute wait, but the two women behind me were. There were two clerks at the desk, and they had to wait for the previous voter to actually return with the ballot and deposit it to start registering the next voter. As with all line ups, it can be delayed if someone put his ID back in his wallet, or actually takes his voting decision while he has the ballot.

Maybe it is higher turnout, which would be a good thing. I vote in advanced polls as a matter of course, and have in the past voted without seeing another voter in the station.

I can’t remember for sure, but that sounds strange to me. My recollection, faulty though it may be, is that one voter takes their ballot and goes to the privacy box, and they immediately start checking in the next voter. I live right across the street from my election day polling place so I’ll be voting there. I’ll make a point of observing how they handle that. I can’t see why advance polls would be run differently from election day polls but maybe there is a reason.
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#19
One way in which advanced polling differs from the process on the day of the election is that they transcribe your name and address onto a separate list, and you are asked to sign next to the information.

It seemed odd to me, too, that they waited until a voter returned from the box to process the next voter. It was strange for others ahead of me, too, who assumed that they would show their ID while the previous voter was voting, but were asked to wait.
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#20
(10-11-2015, 08:25 AM)MidTowner Wrote: One way in which advanced polling differs from the process on the day of the election is that they transcribe your name and address onto a separate list, and you are asked to sign next to the information.
That's what the media reported and what I suggested could be computerized, not the actual balloting itself that others have criticized above.

Presumably the list from which voters' names and addresses are transcribed is in some computer database already. So it's already subject to security breaches, hackers, etc. All I was suggesting is that rather than transcribe that stuff manually, which incidentally opens it up to all sorts of transcription errors, it would be a lot simpler (and faster!) to print that stuff off the database onto a registration form, then ask each voter to sign their form.

Quote:It seemed odd to me, too, that they waited until a voter returned from the box to process the next voter. It was strange for others ahead of me, too, who assumed that they would show their ID while the previous voter was voting, but were asked to wait.
This could also be due to a lack of proper education of the polling station staff.

P.S. I never understood the point of collecting all those entry cards we have to fill in on flights that enter Canada. There must be 10s of millions of them every year. Once you've been allowed to enter Canada what's the point of keeping them? Does someone in Ottawa actually read them?  Huh  Confused  At least now you have the option of scanning them with some basic OCR validation and data collection. If that became universal it might actually provide some useful statistical data.
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