Wow, you'd think that nearly getting caught at it a couple of times would have made them a bit more circumspect.

Whilst the obvious continuing vulnerability of electronic voting without a physical audit record would seem to be the biggest threat to an accurate result, possibly more concerning from a social point of view is..

"Kentucky Republicans sent armed, white poll monitors to minority polling stations to prevent violence by standing around with guns visible"

..however much you like guns, they probably don't belong in full view at a polling station.

This is almost certainly an extreme and partisan interpretation of something fairly innocent, but the fact that there are no obvious reports of official investigations of this sort of story, gives the impression of tacit approval by the government.
You'd figure there would be regulations about such things, wouldn't you. Whilst I wouldn't take everything linked to as gospel it's not like Rolling Stone and Wired are just a bunch of interbets crackpots, they are actually "real" journos, whatever that means these days.

I never thought preserving democracy was a partisan issue. Perhaps it's not. Frankly any politician which sees getting elected as more important than the representation of the peoples wishes has no right in office. Most disconcerting.
Actually I find the systematics of your vote being counted and your voice being heard quite an interesting subject. Not so much on this obviously wrong electoral manipulation, but in the greyer areas of gerrymandering and population change. Specifically its worth trying to imagine a fair, easily explicable voting system that produces a clear result and doesn't discourage people in areas where they are heavily outnumbered. For example there is currently no point voting Labour in Henley and no point voting Tory in, well any of Scotland. Also the fact that it takes on average 5,000 votes fewer to elect a Labour MP than a Conservative would seem to be an issue.

I had a plan involving MPs with placards with the numbers of people who voted for them on, but no from the office for constitutional affairs has got in contact with me yet.
That sounds like a website waiting to happen, a la TheyWorkForYou.
yeah, it would be a start, but then you lose the representation for the people who voted for somone else.

I suppose the website could recalculate votes in parliament by weighting each members vote by the absolute number he won by. Then the votes of people who's candidate lost will reduce the amount 'their' MP is weighted. This will probably mean that lots of candidates have zero weight because more people voted for other candidates than for them (in a 3 way race).

You could also imagine (closer to the original idea) reallocating lost votes to the nearest winning candidate of that party and increasing their weight accordingly.

This could then be automated to see whether legislation that was passed was actually representative of peoples wishes, or whether it was an artifact of the system that let it get through.

This system would assume that local variations and "free votes" are evened out by allocating losing votes to a geographically nearby candidate of the same party.

Not quite as good as having 3+ mps representing each constituency and each getting a hat that said "i represent 125 people" but not too bad...
Every democracy is a compromise, I guess, since none of us have the time to vote on everything. :)

First Past the Post is, for sure, an imperfect system, but then PR, the great contender, would lead to other problems too, not least the lack of local representation, or at least as strong a tie as the current system provides.

Personally I'm more in favor of a separation of national and local issues, bringing more power back to local governments. Devolution in extremis, possibly, but I think it has merit. Bring the power closer to the people and perhaps they will engage? Who knows?

Right now I see local government as glorified rubbish collectors since everything important happens at Westminster. Perhaps larger PR constituencies for Westminster and more power to London Assembly like entities across the country? Who knows? Brains bigger than mine are yet to find a reasonable solution. :)
I don't think brains of any size are encouraged to think about this in case they find a solution that is actually fair and holds government to account for unpopular decisions.

There is a fantastic yes minister episode on this topic, where hacker is initially very in favour of a system of 'local democracy'
If ever a program nailed British politics, this is it. The ID card episode has such remarkable prescience it's scary.
Anthony Jay and Johnathan Lynn, who wrote it, admitted fairly recently they were being fed information from an MP so most of the episodes were close to, if not actually, fact.

They tinkered with the characters and boosted the number of latin jokes, but the political situations were pretty much real.
An engineering professor at York came up with quite a nice idea, which was to keep the Commons with the First Past the Post system, and then to radically reshape the House of Lords. The Lords would be reconstituted after every general election (and by-election) such that the total makeup of parliament (MPs+Peers) was proportional to the total number of votes cast for each party. Peers would be selected from a party list system. He also pointed out that this system could also allow the Lords to be used to adjust for demographics, too - ensuring that parliament was representative of the nation in terms of gender, race, etc.
That's actually the best suggestion for PR and the Lords I think I've heard. :) The demographic adjustment is an interesting one, although at that point the argument would become which demographics need representing.

Sex, Race, Wealth, Job/Profession, Sexuality, Religion, Able bodied / Disabled, Home Owner / Renter, Parent / Child-free, everyone will want their own nieche / subculture / special interest to be given consideration.

At what point does it stop being a demographic and start being a choice which is represented via your vote, I guess. No doubt we'd just get bored talking about it rather than actually implement anything, much like Blair's reform of the Lords.
That may have the result, mind you, of landing the BNP in the Lords which is a rather disconcerting result. :/
For example there is currently no point voting Labour in Henley and no point voting Tory in, well any of Scotland

And no point voting anything but Tory in Bromley...
Hmm. I wonder if this is why my ballot didn't show up of its own accord? I'm not a registerted Democrat, though.
The fact you're not on other records as resident in Nashville may be why you got purged, but it's a good bet it's this legislation that's at work. Rather concerning, really...
I hope my vote was counted, but being registered a Democrat in a mostly Democrat city (Chicago) sort of helps my vote to not go walkies.
I hope the polls are right and it's decisive enough not to be another Florida. I for one will be on the coffee staying up for the counts.
Actually given that this sort of tampering seems to be going on, and possibly more importantly if not actually happening but being widely reported, and there are such strong predictions that Obama will win. There seems to be growing concern about civil unrest if there is a very narrow McCain victory, valid or not.

Another good reason not to screw with (or privatise you muppets) your voting systems. When people dont trust them anything is justified :/
civil unrest? oh good, it's about time the yankees used, for the security of a free State, those arms that they so loudly keep.
This partly explains why some people are voting early, perhaps?

Of course, if one didn't have to register as a Democrat or Republican when registering to vote* it wouldn't be so easy to tell in advance who was likely to vote Democrat and target them. Wouldn't stop the electronic automatic vote-switching machines (WTF?), but might stop some of the other putting-off tactics.


*this is my understanding