As most who visit this newsgroup are tool users, I ask for a sympathetic
reading. Just a minor soap box rant for the old days.
My local municipality has just plain junk voting equipment; plastic,
plastic, and cheap. No class, no flair, no nothing. As much as I rail
against the Style .VS. Substance cultural wars, there is something to be
said for marketing flair and elaborated protocol when it comes to civic
I am old enough to remember the mechanical lever voting booths. The
voter steps-up and enters the solid metal machine booth and forcefully
pushes the hand lever over. The force about equal to a holding bag of
flour as I recall, not a lot but it did take an effort. The curtain
closed with a mechanical thump; the sound of the thump resounding in the
mental awareness of the importance of what about to happen, voting.
The levers are arrayed before your eyes. There is no mistake here about
who or what you are voting, the physical movement of any of the levers is
clear, concise, and physically rewarded; you can see the lever move, you
can feel the lever move, and you hear the soft subtle click. Feedback to
the voter is visually, tactile, and audibly apparent; all three senses re-
enforcing the selected choice to be correct.
And when voting selection is completed, the large red handled lever is
now pulled; the noise of the small voting choice levers now turn the
mechanically linked tabulation cylinders with a sound more akin to the
clanking of an iron bar door. The sound of finality, no undo, or erasure
of choice for all of eternity. The voting booth curtain now opens with a
swish and a small bell rings as fresh light from the room re-illuminates
the voter. An all too minor shift in air brings the sense of smell to aid
the visual shift of light and sound to concluded the experience to a
(mostly) joyous resolution; the citizen has fulfilled his(her) duty (and
obligation to) others who in the past have sacrificed to make it possible.
Oh, about these new touch screen monitors and small plastic dividers, you
know I have played computer games on such things. Not while standing up,
mind you. Don't quite get the same sensory feedback with all that
plastic. Not quite the same. No feedback to the physical senses that my
vote was counted, just toy plastic junk for my vote.
Ok, I will stop pounding the porch with my cane. Time for my nap
anyway. Thanks for reading.