Report on Need for Emergency Paper Ballots! (touch screen counties)

If you are in a touchscreen county, please read this and pass it on. The report explains the need for emergency paper ballots. Our state recommended them to touchscreen counties in 2006, but we need to ask again.

Must Read Report on Need for Emergency Paper Ballots! Avoid Disenfranchisement in 2008
Dr. William Edelstein & Save Our Votes have issued an EXCELLENT five page report titled “How can we prevent long lines from disenfranchising voters in this year’s election?”

Dr. Edelstein, a physicist applied the queuing theory to voting and shows why long lines are likely. For example, queuing shows that “a voting time of 6.3 minutes would cause wait times longer than 2 hours in nearly all precincts.”

Together Edelstein and Save Our Votes make the compelling argument for emergency paper ballots this November 4, and provide a point by point rebuttal to all the objections to emergency paper ballots. Additionally, the report gives specific suggestions for how and when to give out the emergency ballots and addresses cost, logistics and security. If you are in a jurisdiction or state that uses touch screen voting machines, then we strongly urge you to forward this report to your election officials and request emergency paper ballots.

From the report

“How can we prevent long lines from disenfranchising voters in this year’s election?”
…The 2004 and 2006 general elections in Maryland were accompanied by very long lines, with voters in some locations waiting for hours to vote. Many left without voting and were thereby disenfranchised. This year’s hotly contested presidential race is expected to cause a record turnout at the polls in November.

“The formation of polling place lines depends on the interplay among thenumber of voters, the number of voting machines, and the time each votertakes to vote. It is a process similar to that which occurs on highwaysduring rush hour. Traffic flows smoothly as long as traffic density islow. As volume increases, traffic gradually slows until, at someconcentration, it locks up and cars accumulate into long lines that can take hours to clear.

Physicist William Edelstein has applied mathematical queuing simulation to voting dynamics in Maryland. Dr. Edelstein studied an averageprecinct with 10 voting machines and 1500 actual voters (a turnout of75%). He found that if each voter takes an average of 4.6 minutes tovote, all precincts will have wait times of more than 15 minutes at somepoint during Election Day and 0.1% of precincts will experience waittimes of more than an hour.

But small variations in voting times can cause large changes in wait times. An average voting time of 5 minutes would mean that 10% ofprecincts would have a wait time of more than an hour at some pointduring the day, and a voting time of 6.3 minutes would cause wait timeslonger than 2 hours in nearly all precincts.”

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