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Anonymous Govt Issued Voting Cards

Yes Anonymous, Yes Govt Issued
(+2, -2)
  [vote for,

OK - so somehow even though we can all make it to a Target, we had a problem showing up for elections.

And we keep hearing that getting an ID is too problematic especially for some segments of the population.

So here you go -- ready?

The govt, which does no your id (like your social security #) and if you are of age to vote, send a one time ANONYMOUS bar code card to everyone to whom it otherwise sent a mail ballot -- i.e. every registered or even unregisterd voter.

The bar code card could of course be tied to a real human -- but that's NOT strictly necessary. As there are only as many cards as there are eligible voters.

Said card is presented at polling station to vote and is taken out as a one time use card.

theircompetitor, Mar 18 2021

Ugly Gerry: A font of US electoral gerrymandering https://thenextweb....s-voting-districts/
More problematic than minor incidents of voter fraud is probably the whole gerrymandering problem which really ought to be sorted out. Also contains a link to a classic John Oliver bit. [zen_tom, Mar 19 2021]

Phone In Your Vote Phone_20In_20Your_20Vote
[theircompetitor, Mar 19 2021]


       No. We can't all make it to a Target.   

       Your premise is wrong. And when you find and acknowledge those people who cannot, you'll have figured out the problem.   

       Not everyone has a mailbox.   

       Not everyone has an address.   

       Not everyone has eyes that work. Or can get out of the nursing home. Or live within 15 miles of a town.   

       Everyone save the incarcerated has the right to vote.   

       Secondly, what happens if you lose or destroy said barcode?
RayfordSteele, Mar 18 2021

       A simple double verification system could involve everyone being charged a single paper dollar to vote. (the numbers on these are unique). They can then claim a 5 dollar refund. This generates a second set of data involving another unique linked number. Benefits.....it pays to vote, but if you're fraudulent in any way, you will be detected.
xenzag, Mar 18 2021

       So, you hash that number together with the name/soc. id in a way that identifies that person as a citizen?   

       If you need to get them a ballot anyway, why not just put the number on the ballot like we typically do and forget the dollar?
RayfordSteele, Mar 18 2021

       I really don't understand what the issue is [Ray].   

       Yes of course it can be on the ballot.   

       And when it is -- I want a human to bring it in and vote.   

       Not everybody has an address? ok, but that is not the issue we're trying to solve. My problem is with mail in ballots -- I don't know who filled them out, and I don't know who mailed them -- and most importantly -- I really CAN'T know that the number of humans who filled them out is equal to the number of votes submitted.
theircompetitor, Mar 18 2021

       //Everyone save the incarcerated has the right to vote//   

       & even they should have, otherwise it makes it too easy to gerrymander the entire countries vote should an incumbent government wish too by passing laws that will impact & send to jail certain segments of the population disproportionately. An extreme scenario & unlikely you might say .. but .. what proportion of the US population is currently in jail .. right now?   

       Oh, & how many of them are black or Hispanic?   

       Just asking ;))
Skewed, Mar 18 2021

       I was responding to [xenzag].   

       And how exactly do you distribute said cards? Some small army of census takers?
RayfordSteele, Mar 18 2021

       I know you were, & I was responding to a small portion of your response to [xenzag], but it's OK I understand if you'd rather not think about that.   

       //how exactly do you distribute said cards?//   

       Really? Isn't that obvious? I think it is, but I could be wrong of course.   

       //to everyone to whom it otherwise sent a mail ballot//   

       So, the same way mail ballots are sent then, so by mail (at least that's how we do it here in the UK), if he meant them to be sent a different way he'd have said wouldn't he.
Skewed, Mar 18 2021

       I would lose mine.
Worldgineer, Mar 18 2021

       //Not everyone has an address. //   

       Now that's a problem. If a name's not tied to an address, that would make it much harder to distinguish between an actual person and a fictitious one. Are there really so many homeless people in the US that elections depend on them?
pertinax, Mar 18 2021

       I'm too dim to understand the problem. Let's break it down step by step, and someone can explain the issue.   

       Everyone has to register to vote. That means announcing themselves to the local authority, giving a name and an address. The authority then prints out and sends individually numbered ballots to those people who have registered. I think this is how it works in the UK anyway.   

       Then on or around election time, people send in their ballots by mail, or take their ballots to a polling station. The ballot is used as a token to ensure that each individual registered with the local authority has a unique opportunity to vote.   

       Now, it's possible that some ballots might be collected by unscrupulous individuals, on both sides of the aisle, and filled in nefariously before sending in. Presumably the chances of that happening are equal given the Red team and Blue team have no monopoly on decency and honour, so any marginal inaccuracies are likely to even themselves out, statistically. No systematic bias so far.   

       So that then leaves the possibility of false registrations - again, there's no evidence of any systematic bias in this regard, but doesn't a person have to have an address, a name and perhaps a date of birth? Any person with control over any single address, and a fertile enough imagination will only be able to conjure up maybe 4-5 people before that particular address starts looking fishy. It shouldn't be difficult to identify cases like this and investigate - as I'm sure already happens.   

       So what is the actual process imagined by people who believe in widespread voter fraud? How much organisation would it require to pull off effectively, in actual real terms? And given ballots are linked to addresses, doesn't this leave a reasonable paper-trail in terms of investigating irregularities already, without the need to invoke bar-codes, DNA scans, handwriting analysts or anything else?   

       I have no idea how these things are done the other side of the pond, but in the UK, this roughly speaking is how it works, the practicalities of linking people to an address is normally enough of an impediment to deterring any systematic abuse of the system, without requiring ID, fingerprints or anything deemed problematic. It's an opt- in system, so transient people are often left out, as would be the homeless and people who choose not to register to vote. As [pertinax] rightly points out, this is an area for improvement, but on the (unproven) assumption that this disenfranchises only a small proportion of the population, we might choose to park it for the moment.   

       There is the usual gerrymandering scams of reconfiguring the electoral boundaries to favour one side or the other - but the neutral electoral commission is supposed to limit that in a reasonably effective manner - I have heard rumour that some of the electoral constituencies in the US are so creatively arranged that it's possible to construct an entire font out of them - so that's probably a bigger problem to be honest.
zen_tom, Mar 18 2021

       At a minimum it's not a secret ballot. If a set of union organizers got folks on a bus, and have them a hot dog and a beer, they STILl don't know how each voted and perhaps if they voted at all. Whereas if we got a bunch of us in a room, and said this is how we fill this out and then checked it... Do you perceive the difference? If I went and collected all the envelopes from an apartment building mailbox, and filled them out, who would know if signatures are not checked?
theircompetitor, Mar 19 2021

       Perhaps the essence of the problem is postal voting too easily opens up the potential of a little light ballot stuffing to any Tom, Dick or Harry, without it you have to be a in on the count or at one of the polling stations, inside the system somewhere along the line. So the ones who where doing it before are feeling put out that their monopoly is being eroded perhaps? ;))   

       But seriously .. I see plenty of problems with postal voting as standard almost default option for all.   

       If nothing else we have an obesity crisis (I'm told) so shouldn't we be encouraging (nay! forcing) people to get out more?   

       For those who really can't get into a polling station to vote either by reason of health or work (oil riggers & the like) it's OK but I don't think it should be available by default.
Skewed, Mar 19 2021

       One big question does occur though, about the actual idea, & I'm surprised no one's asked it yet.   

       How does this solve the quoted problem of getting an ID anyway?   

       Isn't this itself just a one shot ID?   

       So why would someone who can't get another form of ID find it any easier to get this one?   

       What is the problem with getting an ID supposed to be & how does this actually solve it?   

       What ID is currently accepted? the answer to that might go some way to answering the other questions.
Skewed, Mar 19 2021


       You may not think it should be available by default but in this side we have this Constitution thing which guarantees every citizen who hasn't forfeited it the right to vote.   

       If you mail these cards out, you have exactly the same problem of them being stolen by whomever. Do you not?   

       I think some kind of crypotographic hash of your name, soc. number, address, and birthdate, as well as some random information like favorite snack, entered into some official type voting computer that is securely uncrackable using quantum computing would be the cat's meow.   

       That hash is printed onto your ballot when you're done voting, and compared against your previously uploaded data. Note that the lack of an address wouldn't render a hash useless.
RayfordSteele, Mar 19 2021

       // Everyone save the incarcerated has the right to vote.//   

       Everyone except those who are under 18, felons, and non-citizens. Disenfranchisement is evil.
Voice, Mar 19 2021

       // That hash is printed onto your ballot when you're done voting, and compared against your previously uploaded data. Note that the lack of an address wouldn't render a hash useless.//   

       How would an address be relevant if it's not included in the hash? How would it not invalidate upon a change of address if it is included? A lot of the problem with the 2020 election was claims of multiple votes and/or voting in multiple locations by people out of state. (for example mailing in a ballot in one state and also voting in person in another state)
Voice, Mar 19 2021

       //You may not think it should be available by default//   

       What? nobody said it shouldn't be, I certainly didn't, very clever, lie about what someone said so you can win an imaginary argument, is that it?   

       [Ray] I'm not sure if that's me you were talking to there, but if it was, the right to vote is not & never has been as you appear to be claiming [if you are responding to me] the right to vote by mail & I'm damn sure no such right [the voting by mail one] is written into the US constitution.   

       You've either misread what I said [if it was me you were talking to] or are talking unadulterated tosh [if it was me you were talking to, & hadn't misread what I said].
Skewed, Mar 19 2021

       My apologies. I may have misread this statement:   

       //For those who really can't get into a polling station to vote either by reason of health or work (oil riggers & the like) it's OK but I don't think it should be available by default.//   

       'it' here was mistaken for 'the right to vote,' not 'the right to vote by mail.'   

       There are certainly folks who attempted to vote in multiple locations.   

       We know this because they were caught. The system we have, as imperfect as it is, did its job. Were there others that were not? Perhaps. Were there enough to matter? Doubtful. And given the demographics of the electorate, I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that of the potential handful of cheaters, most of them were Republicans. Ya'll are grouped with a mentally unstable lot. I said it.   

       Of course a change of address would be accompanied by a chronological time also hashed in. The point is that there could only be one address associated with a certain soc. sec number at any given time, whether that address is null or not.
RayfordSteele, Mar 19 2021

       That explains it.   


       I wondered what had happened there, want me to edit my response tone down a bit?
Skewed, Mar 19 2021

       Not necessary.
RayfordSteele, Mar 19 2021

       the reason I want it anonymous is I think that's kind of creepy, to have that association.   

       Having said that, whatever we do, I'm ok with having people get registration cards somehow -- but if people are in any way not voting in a booth, I'd want some way to know that they are not being coerced or simply aggregated.
theircompetitor, Mar 19 2021

       I wonder: does Australia's mandatory voting law count as coercion? Do they have a mandatory candidate research phase that goes on also?
RayfordSteele, Mar 19 2021

       // a one time ANONYMOUS bar code card to everyone//

It's not, conceptually speaking, possible for this to be anonymous. In the event of a dispute, the administration needs to be able to prove that the ballot was sent out & to the correct person/address. That means some form of audit trail. Without an audit trail, there is nothing to flag up accidental cock-ups or to stop some unscrupulous official from losing things or sending out more tokens than there are voters. And nothing to prevent unscrupulous voters from voting early & voting often!
DrBob, Mar 19 2021

       The simplest possible fix is to do away with the anonymous part... at least as far as being able to make sure your own vote goes where you put it.   

       You allow people to vote through ATM machines for authentication of their identities and either phone in their vote or mail their ballot as long as the vote gets registered to their Personal Identity Number.   

       In this fashion no one is excluded and ballot stuffing would be next to impossible.   

       //personal identity number//   

       The more independence-minded people in the US have been resisting any national registrations of individuals for a long time because it leads to tyranny. Pay no attention to the taxpayer IDs, social security numbers, corporate and government tracking networks, and passport numbers behind the curtain.
Voice, Mar 19 2021

       It's funny I was just looking at my phone in your vote idea, circa 2004.
theircompetitor, Mar 19 2021


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