New York State Gives Voting Booths the Boot


Primary elections are today, and one thing is notably absent in New York: voting booths. Instead, voters will use SAT-style bubble forms to select candidates. This way, computers will count the votes, and, unlike the old curtain and lever booths, this system will leave a paper trail if a recount is necessary. It’s merely a shift in methodology, but with all such changes, dissenters will likely act as if it’s a slight to our democracy.

Here are some gripes, reported by the New York Times (which also brought us a nifty explanatory infographic):

1. Overvoting, filling out more than one bubble per office, will negate a vote.
2. The print may not be as large as it is in voting booths.
3. The “tactile satisfaction” of voting will take a nosedive.
4. Language barriers may lead to misunderstandings.

C’mon people, we’re better than this. If you’re voting in the first place, you’re probably not a moron. New York is among the last states to adopt this system, so let’s not embarrass ourselves! Ask for help if you need it; rock the vote; just do it; if you see something, say something — you get it, just shut up and vote.

Here are reasons to appreciate this system:
1. There is no possibility of “hanging” or “bulging” chads.
2. Voting booths always break. Always.
3. There will be shorter lines to vote — not that that’s a realistic problem in the primaries.
4. Shorter lines could maybe, possibly mean higher voter turn-out.
5. You will feel like you’re in high school again.
6. Election results will be calculated more quickly.

As far as we can tell, there is one legitimate gripe with this system:
Voting no longer makes us feel like the great and powerful Oz.