Josh Rogin/Foreign Policy
Foreign Election Officials Amazed By Trust-Based U.S. Voting System -- Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy
For the head of Libya's national election commission, the method by which Americans vote is startling in that it depends so much on trust and the good faith of election officials and voters alike.
"It's an incredible system," said Nuri K. Elabbar, who traveled to the United States along with election officials from more than 60 countries to observe today's presidential elections as part of a program run by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). Your humble Cable guy visited polling places with some of the international officials this morning. Most of them agreed that in their countries, such an open voting system simply would not work.
"It's very difficult to transfer this system as it is to any other country. This system is built according to trust and this trust needs a lot of procedures and a lot of education for other countries to adopt it," Elabbar said.
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My Comment: I live in Canada, and in our elections we must always show voter ID (Passport, drivers license, government permit, healthcare card, etc.). And for our advance polls, we need to bring proof of residence (this is usually a bill or a government letter to one's address) as well as our photo ID. The way we vote is also the same across the country (mark our vote on a ballot) .... no different rules for different provinces/states. Is our (Canadian) system? ... I would like to think so. As to the U.S. system .... as an outsider I am also amazed (like the above UN inspectors) by how much of it is dependent on trust and good faith.