Tuesday, November 28, 2006

PA lacks paper backup to voting electronically

Seriously, Pennsylvania should have fixed this long ago. If I recall correctly, Pennsylvania actually has a law that forbits the use of paper backup systems.

Really, how hard can this be? I grew up in Alabama. In Alabama, we used the scan-tron type fill in the bubble ballot. It was pretty straight forward. I don't recall it ever being a problem. Here's the way things should work:

You have an electronic voting machine. Just like the ones we use now, it handles your vote for each election, making sure you didn't miss any elections, etc. Then, instead of simply recording your vote, have the machine print out a scan-tron type ballot. Then, the voter can take the ballot, look over it to make sure that everything is correct, and then feed it to the scan-tron machine and walk out. Something wrong on the ballot? Simply tell a poll worker who will cancel the old ballot and let you start the process over.

This way, you get to vote electronically (which everyone seems to like), yet you have a voter verified paper trail. Because the computer printed the ballot, there are no problems of hanging chads or other such nonsense.

It seems like such a simple concept; can this really be that difficult?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bridge work to reroute South Hills transit

When the Pittsburgh LRT (known locally as the "T") was closed for recent repairs to the South Hills Tunnel, I noticed that they were doing additional work on the bridge over Highway 51. It didn't appear to be a part of the original project, but it looks now like they were evaluating the bridge's condition.

It appears (like many of Pennsylvania's other bridges) that the bridge is in very poor condition. As such, it will be closed for nine months, beginning in March for repairs. It's actually noticable when you're riding the "T" as the condition of the rails goes from very smooth to very rough in the matter of seconds near the Dawn station.

As a commuter on the "T", I take this route to work every day. We'll be inconvenienced by about 10 minutes per trip; instead of going north to work, we'll go south and move to the Overbrook line. But even with this inconvenience, I'm glad that they are addressing the situation. It show's the Port Authority's support for the LRT system going into the future.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wish list

Every year, people ask me what I want for Christmas. For your convenience, I have a wish list at Amazon.com. You can see it by clicking here.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Even more Abigail Pictures

Getting track of each week after she was born was getting a little tedious, so for now I'm going to twice per month, starting with "Early November". I'm sure I'll get a system down eventually!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dick Cheney on occupying Baghdad

"It would be dangerous. We’d get mired down inside Iraq in a conflict that’s been raging for generations in the interests of trying to dictate who’s going to govern in Iraq. That is not something that we are prepared to see American forces do." - Dick Cheney

"For the US to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over whose going to govern in Iraq strikes me as a classic definition of a quagmire." - Dick Cheney

Huh? These words were spoken by Cheney in a 1991 NPR interview. Check out this NPR report.

Monday, November 13, 2006

More on Abigail

Hi all! It's been a busy few months since Abigail was born, so I've been out of the loop, but she's been doing wonderfully! Heather has been taking her maternity leave from work since she was born, but she is due to return at the beginning of December. That's when I'll begin my FMLA leave from work. From what I've been told, its one of the best experiences that a dad can have and I'm greatly looking forward to it.

Also, I've updated my main web page at http://www.clarkbhm.com to include two new feeds; the first feed is entries from this very blog. The second feed is of articles that I found to be interesting or amusing. Let me know what you think!