Nov 4, 2008

The World is a Ghetto

Voting lines in Zimbabwe

Voting lines in the Dominican Republic

I recently got hip to Shazam, one of the many cool applications that you can now use on the iPhone. Shazam is called a "music discovery engine." The technology allows you to identify any music that is playing, even under really noisy conditions, with your cell phone. Amazing.

But why am I talking about Shazam on election day? It's simple really. How is it possible that I can use my phone to identify music--among many, many other things that would have seemed to defy logic some short time ago--but the states in this country can't figure out how to properly stage an election? In a society as technologically sophisticated as ours is supposed to be, why do our polling places look like relics from the 18th century on election day?

When the 2000 election revealed all the flaws in the Florida voting system, it was a shock for most people. Yet even though eight long years have passed, things seem not to have changed much at all. Why is this? Why do our polling places resemble those in 3rd world countries like Zimbabwe? More importantly, why are people not outraged by this?

Rachel Maddow calls this a "new poll tax."

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