I have posted a reprint of my Patently-O post from the first Tuesday of November, 2004. There were no comments added to that original post

Chicago still uses punch-cards for voting. Despite the risk of hanging chads or dimpled marks, the benefit of this system is the paper trail. Many voters, including myself, are reassured by the paper trail. Patent No. 4,445,731 (shown above) was invented by John Ahmann in the early 1980′s. The patent covers the type of portable voting booths used in my precinct. Ahmann is still recognized as an expert in voting technology and testified in the Bush v. Gore controversy of 2000. According to the BBC, about 30% of U.S. voters will use electronic voting (e-voting) machines in today’s election. *2008 NOTE – that number is up to 32% for 2008*

Problems and praise Opponents highlight the problems that have already occurred with the machines – pointing for instance to a congressional race in Ohio in which votes were incorrectly registered due to a problem with the memory cartridges. At the same time however, Georgia’s entirely electronic system appears to have few naysayers after two years in operation – although it is widely believed that the [2004] presidential election will prove the greatest test. The principal criticism remains the lack of paper audit trails. Nevada is the only state using machines that provide voters with the kind of receipt which would, if necessary, allow for a manual recount. But in order to accommodate some of the concerns, a number of states – including California – will give voters the opportunity to vote using electronic machines or a paper ballot form.

Here is a picture of my neighbor and senate hopeful Barack Obama and his daughter casting his vote.

22 thoughts on “

  1. Readers, have you read on the IPKat blog this morning that the EPO is short of money. Its wacko scheme to encourage US Applicants to moderate their excesses, and file not more than 15 claims, has worked so well that today very few Inventors file more than 15 claims, so the flow of claims fees, previously so rich, has suddenly dried up. Any thoughts on that, 6K?

  2. It would be hilarious if D was appointed, kept his blog on the side (tho rarely updated), and we still had people like JD come in with a “(mis)management” every so often lol. The very first thing D would do as director would be to look over 100 or so patent apps and be overwhelmed with the overclaiming present, and confirm “reject, reject, reject” will continue unabated.

  3. “Landslide? Oh the wonderful optimism when the “messiah” comes in and pulls a 52%.”

    Here in the US we look at the electoral college votes, my friends.

  4. Come on Dennis, use your Chicago connections and get yourself appointed Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director …I’m sure you’d do a much better job than Dudas.

    Of course, please disregard this comment if it would mean giving up the blog.

  5. Come on Dennis, use your Chicago connections and get yourself appointed Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director …I’m sure you’d do a much better job than Dudas.

    Of course, please disregard this comment if it would mean giving up the blog.

  6. “Obama landslide.
    Along with Bilski and KSR and a few others, I’ll add that to the list of my accurate predictions.”

    You’re predicting an Obama landside 3 hours after the race has been called? Impressive!

  7. Obama landslide.

    Along with Bilski and KSR and a few others, I’ll add that to the list of my accurate predictions.

  8. Voting is your way of confirming that you believe that the 2 party system is not an artifice constructed to support the corporate rulers of america.

  9. I had a big wait here in NE Washington this morning. I know it go to Obama here, big time, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was my duty to go. It was fun, and my thoughts were of Directors and assistants packing up their office things.

  10. Good stuff – and very tasteful, Dennis. =)

    I hit my poll site this morning at 6:15am here in Cleveland… and had a 45-minute wait. Even regardless of the outcome, it’s pretty awesome that participation will be at a historic high today.

    - David Stein

  11. Who is that obama guy? Am I going to hear more about him in the future?

    That’s cool you were his neighbor tho D. You should have tried to get bumped up to national patent advisor or something.

  12. Actually, not all of Chicago uses punch cards. A number of wards use electronic voting machines for early voting that give you a printed receipt which you then place in a ballot box. But as current history might show — this might not alleviate all concerns.

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