Looks like being an election official in Florida just got easier.
The Department of State has notified elections supervisors that touchscreen ballots don’t have to be included during manual recounts because there is no question about how voters intended to vote.
While touchscreen ballot images can be printed, there is no need and elections supervisors aren’t authorized to do so, Division of Elections Director Ed Kast wrote in a letter to Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Kurt Browning.
So we’re just going to trust the computers. Given how reliable we all know computers to be, this is about as democratic as selecting candidates by lots. (Just for the record, I think it’s an interesting theoretical question about how democratic that is. It’s how we pick juries after all, and they are often considered an important part of the democratic process.)
Counting votes is a very hard business, so you can see why they’d want to speed it up. In Australia, with roughly the same population as Florida, spread over a much larger area, with I think twice as many voters, and a more complicated voting system, we manage to count every ballot by hand in 3 or 4 hours. To be sure, we don’t have as many elections at once as Floridians do, but you’d think for top-line elections they could try for a change running elections as well as we do. (Hat tip: kos.)