Monday, April 03, 2006

Electronic Voting Machine


October 31, 2004

To restart the election, please press Ctrl-Alt-Del

Congratulations! You are standing in the most sophisticated, all-digital voting booth ever used in a real election. Now you can cast a ballot to shape the future - and experience the future - all in one mind-bending session.

We developed this new generation of electronic voting booth because, frankly, we were frustrated with the way our old vacuum cleaner worked. The bag quickly clogged with dust, destroying the suction. More than 5,000 prototypes later, we perfected this space-age voting kiosk.

By following these instructions, you'll make your few moments inside this advanced voting booth rewarding and easy - and hopefully keep your state out of the newspapers. Here we go:

Step 1: Touch any metal surface to minimize the risk of static shock, then press the "Touch Here" screen to begin. Disengage the restraining bolt and insert the bar-coded Voter ID ticket you were given at the registration table. A list of candidates will appear along the right side of the screen, each name with either a parallelogram or a tilted diamond beside it. (Once you vote, each candidate you select will have a trapezoid beside his or her name, and those you don't choose will appear with a rhombus.)

Step 2: To make your selections, take hold of the crankshaft with your right hand and turn in a clockwise motion until the name of your desired candidate is highlighted in reverse type on the screen. At this point you have five seconds to hit the toggle switch above the "Verification" LED to confirm your selection. If you hear the familiar "Pac Man dying" sound, you must try again. Repeat this process for each vote you want to cast.

Step 3: Remove your Voter ID ticket. Your ballot "receipt" will print out onto the floor outside the booth. A wastebasket for receipts is located near the exit.


Problem: The presidential portion of the vote screen lists the candidates as George W. Kerry and Jeffrey Nader.

Solution: It's possible you have the "Fast Shutdown" registry key enabled. Try deleting the COMVER.BIN file in the AOL directory and the MAIN.IDX file from the IDB folder, then copy the MAIN.IDX file from the backup folder to the IDB folder.

Problem: The nitrogen sensor appears to be blocked.

Solution: Telemetry may be off. Remove the shelving unit beneath monitor with a 1/8-inch Allen wrench. Insert any pen or pencil into the "reset" hole to function as a circuit breaker. Replace shelving unit and retighten bolts.

Problem: The "ejector" light is illuminated and a timer is counting down toward 0:00.

Solution: Somehow a polymerase chain reaction has been initiated. There is a risk of mutation. Open the access panel marked "no user-serviceable parts inside" and locate the node of wires connected to the centrifuge. Carefully cut the blue wire - no, wait, the red.

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