Technology Election tech: How crisis and change shaped every tool we use to vote
Voting By Mail? Here Are the Deadlines in Every U.S. State
Voting By Mail? Here Are the Deadlines in Every U.S. StateBefore the pandemic, five states—Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah—already held all-mail elections, meaning every active registered voter automatically received a ballot in the mail that would allow them to bypass a physical polling place. Due to COVID-19, several more states, including California and New Jersey, are adopting this model for the 2020 election. Twenty-nine states and Washington D.C. already allowed for “no excuse” mail-in absentee ballots, meaning voters can request a mail-in ballot without having to meet certain qualifications.
Soldiers in the Civil War used the latest advancements in military technology. The of undersea warfare. allowed President Abraham Lincoln to communicate with officers in the field.and made it possible to launch deadlier attacks from farther away than before.
The advances weren't limited to battle. During the 1864 presidential election, Union soldiers relied on two of the most significant developments in American voting: paper ballots and absentee voting. At polling stations in military camps, soldiers from more than a dozen states cast pre-printed tickets that listed candidates from one party or another. Voters could paste in the names of different candidates if they didn't want to vote a straight party ticket.
Hillary Clinton joins Electoral College 4 years after it cost her the presidency: 'Pretty sure I'll get to vote for Joe'
Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, is one of 29 Democratic electors for New York state in 2020.The Electoral College is comprised of 538 delegates: People who cast the votes that formally elect the president. It's a system that tends to give smaller states a larger voice in the process of electing the president, and one that Clinton has publicly opposed in the past.
Both innovations allowed thousands of soldiers to vote in an election that helped decide the fate of the country. Soldiers from states that counted their votes separatelyGeorge McClellan by more than 75%, and solidified Republican control of the US Senate.
Paper ballots, already gaining traction in the decades before the war, soon became the norm. And while the Civil War absentee voting effort was a one-off, World War II helped the idea become a mainstay. Wartime presidents often found they needed to let soldiers vote to prove they had a consensus on the war, said, a historian at Harvard University.
Millions of Americans are voting for the first time this year, and it's not just young people
This year's election is seeing a surge in first-time voters. And it's not just young people.Last week, the Indiana resident voted for the first time.
"If you want people to go into the military and fight for the country, it's ideologically a good idea to give them a say," Keyssar said.
The US may seem like it's facing an unprecedented voting crisis at the moment. The coronavirus pandemic has made it risky to gather at polling places, prompting many election agencies to for local precincts and counties. Ballots have to be sent to more voters. Each returned ballot requires special layers of verification before it can be counted. All of that comes as the and reported .. The , however, creates a
But as Civil War era voting innovations demonstrate, the US has a history of trying new ways to let its citizens express their voices, particularly during times of change and emergency. Population growth, expanded voting rights, political scandal and wars have all prompted changes to how we vote, including electronic ballots and computerized vote counting.
Survey: Nearly 2 out of 3 voters will cast their ballots early in-person or by mail, not on Election Day
The survey showed a significant partisan divide, too. Those supporting Biden are more likely to say they plan to vote by mail than those who support Trump.When combining those who are voting by mail (42%) and those who voting early in-person (26%), nearly 2 in 3 voters will be casting their ballot ahead of Election Day, according to a survey from the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape Project.
A brief history of voting in the US
Before party tickets, early Americans used more rudimentary methods to exercise their democratic rights.in many places, including Kentucky, where it was used into the 1890s. The idea of voting secretly wasn't accepted.
The party ticket was meant to make it easier to cast ballots, as well as tally votes. The tickets bore bright colors to distinguish the parties, helping each voter select the right one whether or not he could read. (Women weren't universally allowed to vote in the US until the following century.)
The colors could get voters in trouble; supporters of one party were known to rough up voters carrying the ballot of another. Voters also heard partisan speeches at the polling place -- a practice outlawed today -- and encountered drunken revelers because Election Day was a holiday.
After the Civil War, Americans embraced the concept of a secret ballot printed by the government, a concept known as the "" because that's where the idea originated. The secret ballot was part of a larger push to keep party influence out of polling places.
LeBron James aims to make a difference in election. How's it going?
LeBron James has won four NBA titles but now he is trying to make a difference in this year's election with his group called "More Than a Vote."He has won four NBA championships, started his own elementary school, built a business empire and, now, is taking on the 2020 election.
Casting votes with machines
The first voting machines were developed in the late 1800s. Key improvements included faster vote-counting and additional privacy for the voter.
The machines. A voter entered the booth and closed a privacy curtain, unlocking the machine. The voter made selections by pulling a lever next to a candidate's name. Finally, the voter opened the privacy curtain, causing the levers to reset and the votes for each candidate to be recorded on odometer-like dials in the back.
At the end of the election, officials would count the tallies for each candidate from the dials in the back. There was no way to audit the votes because a voter's "ballot" wasn't separately recorded. The only data was the total number of votes for each candidate.
The machines came to stand 5 to 6 feet tall as elections grew to include more candidates, as well as ballot proposals. Polling places barred voters from bringing people with them, and allowed observers from each party to watch as a way to prevent tampering and fraud.
Early computers and voting
Two innovations in the mid-20th century helped lead to the electronic voting systems we have today.at polls in the 1960s, and by the early 2000s, it was a top method for counting votes.
Battleground states: These are the 12 states that will determine the 2020 election
Key states to watch include not only perennial toss-ups but also states Trump won solidly four years ago, including Georgia, Iowa, Ohio and Texas.Yes, voters in each of the 50 states participate in the presidential election. But, like past elections, it will be key blocs in a dozen battleground states that are likely to decide who occupies the Oval Office in January.
The second innovation wason , which led to the adoption of punch card ballots. Introduced in 1964, a device used the first punch card ballots, which were the same size as the standard IBM punch card used for data processing.
Votomatic marked the first time that precincts could tally votes quickly and efficiently with computers, said R. Michael Alvarez, a political science professor at the California Institute of Technology. The systems were also much smaller and more manageable than the giant gear-and-lever machines of the past, so they appealed to counties with long ballots and lots of voters, like Los Angeles County in California and Harris County in Texas.
However, punch card ballots came with a flaw. It was sometimes hard to tell how a voter meant to vote.
"They were just thinking about speed and efficiency and reduction of costs," Alvarez said, "and not thinking about accuracy and voters making mistakes."
Switching to touch-screen voting
The problem came to a head in the 2000 US presidential election. In the tight race between Al Gore and George W. Bush, many Floridians failed to fully punch the hole next to the candidate of their choice. In many cases this left a piece of the ballot, or "chad," hanging off the punch card. Voters in one populous Florida county were also faced with confusing punch cards called butterfly ballots. As a result, Florida officials performing a hand recount couldn't tell how some voters meant to mark their ballots.
Will Democrats expand their control in the House? Here are the races and surprises to watch
Democrats are trying to flip key Republican strongholds, as the election remains close between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. © Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds the gavel during the opening session of the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 3, 2019. More: Control of the Senate hangs in the balance on Election Day. Here are key Senate races to watch More: President Trump claimed during the debate the GOP will take back the House on Election Day. That is unlikely.
In the aftermath, the federal government rushed to fund updated voting technology with the, or HAVA. Many states used the money to buy direct recording electronic machines, often called DREs, which ran with software and touch screens.
In development since the 1980s, the earliest DREs displayed the entire ballot on one screen and were as big as the mechanical gear-and-lever voting booths. Later models let users read through their ballot on a smaller screen and mark their selections. In a distinction that came to be crucial, some of the machines created a paper printout of the marked ballot for the voter to check, and others didn't.
Keeping hackers out of voting machines
By 2004, computer programmers and political scientists were raising alarms about DREs, especially those without paper trails. Their software could be easily manipulated, as Andrew Appel, a Princeton computer scientist,. Lacking printouts for audits, officials might not catch attempts to hack machines and change votes.
However, election agencies had already spent their HAVA money, and many lacked funds to update their systems routinely. It took more than a decade of advocacy, and the prospect of a foreign power trying to manipulate US elections in 2016, for most states to shift completely .
Still,in all of Louisiana, as well as in some counties in states like Texas, Mississippi and New Jersey.
Absentee voting assisted by optical scanners
By the end of World War II, civilians in many states were allowed to apply for absentee ballots, and some states now offer absentee ballots to any voter. During the coronavirus pandemic, unprecedented numbers of voters will have a very good reason to stay away from polling places.
USPS Service blows deadline to check for missing ballots. About 300,000 can't be traced
Fearless Forecast Week 9: 3 Rec, 30 Yds Projected Points: 6.4
Optical scanning makes the process of counting absentee ballots easier. But the ballotsthan those handed in at precincts, where voters can often run their ballots through a scanner to check for errors. This catches problems like voting for too many candidates in one contest, or marking a bubble that should be filled in completely with a check mark.
With so many people voting by mail this year, it'll be more important than ever for voters to mark their ballots correctly, and follow requirements to sign ballots and return them in the correct envelope.
"How many voters are going to make simple mistakes on their ballots?" Alvarez said. "I think that's going to become a very big issue again, just like in 2000."
USPS Service blows deadline to check for missing ballots. About 300,000 can't be traced .
Fearless Forecast Week 9: 3 Rec, 30 Yds Projected Points: 6.4