I know I have often done a bit of ranting about technology in the past. It’s not technology per se that gets my goat, it is the pace of development; the seemingly daily onslaught of upgrades, changes and “improvements” that as a participant in today’s world of gadgets, I am forced to deal with.
I freely admit to a discomfort that many of my generation have to change for change's sake. I was and would still be very happy with my original smartphone. I could check email, search the web, have my calendar at the touch of a button, and make and receive phone calls. Don’t get me wrong; I do understand the appeal of photo, video and streaming capabilities in your pocket. What I resent is that we are forced to purchase those capabilities when all we want is what I consider the basics.
I am not against all technological advancement, like computerizing our voting system. Silly me. I thought it would improve the accuracy of our vote tallies, save time and manpower. Paper ballots and the manual counting thereof had their faults; lest we forget the saga of the hanging and leaning chads of our 2000 presidential election. But they had the actual ballots to annualize and recount.
Did you see the movie “Man of the Year?” In it Robin Williams stars as a political satirist a la Jon Stewart/Steven Colbert, who wages a tongue-in-cheek run for the presidency. He hasn’t a chance, but he has a blast “campaigning.” Then, lo and behold, he wins due to a massive “computer programing glitch.” It’s a pretty funny premise for a comedy, yet very scary stuff when fiction becomes fact.
How often has your computer crashed or mysteriously lost data or any number of “glitch-like” problems arisen?
But what is confronting our country is not a computer problem. The threat to our voting system is all too human driven. On Tuesday the heads of our security agencies unanimously testified that the Russians infiltrated our 2016 election, continue to infiltrate our systems and will infiltrate our November elections.
Our government has done nothing about it.
With elections in November approaching all too quickly, anyone losing will have a built-in reason to dispute the results. I can hear it now: ”It was the Russians that made me lose” could become the substitute for the election night concession speech.
What a mess for our system of government, and what a boon for the Russians. Instead of all of the hand-wringing and anger being expressed in the media, why not take action? There is something we can do. We can insist on going back to the paper ballot until we have confidence in a computerized system.
Those of us who stay up, sometimes well into the night, to get election results might be in for longer nights if we go back to paper ballots, but I for one would prefer the next day exhaustion knowing that the results of the elections are verifiably accurate.
Perhaps we need to take one step backward to move one step ahead.