Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Luddites on the loose: During last month's special election for mayor of San Diego, a group of people arrived in horse-drawn carriages and posted themselves outside 11 precincts. When people emerged from the polls they asked them how they had voted and marked down the answers using a charred stick and papyrus.
After spending several days tabulating their results using an abacus, they determined that the results in the mayoral race were off by 4 percent.
Dismayed by this news, they went to area beaches and gathered as many clams as they could in order to pay for a recount.
The result: 4 percent of people like to jerk around people bugging them about how they voted.
A partial recount yesterday to test the accuracy of scanners that read ballots and tallied votes in the San Diego mayor's race July 26 revealed results that were nearly identical to those of the machines.
For example, a discrepancy of perhaps one vote occurred in a few precincts.
However, this did not satisfy the people, who oppose machines that appear to work by magic when they have some cable connecting them to a wall.
Jerry Ewig of Democracy for America said the only voting system he deems reliable is one that uses paper ballots counted by hand.
"No machines," he said.
The recount "does not prove the system is accurate and correct," said Ewig, who lives in Temecula. "We're still in need of a system that is verifiable and transparent to the people."
Ewig was due to return to his home in Temecula sometime tomorrow.