Monday, September 25, 2006

Demand paper ballots

I have no fundamental problem with electronic voting. It would be quicker, cheaper and more user-friendly than the current paper system.

But any voting system that doesn't include a tamper-proof paper record that can be verified by each voter and used to backstop the electronic system should be laughed out of the room.

It has been demonstrated again and again that the most popular system, Diebold's AccuVote, is laughably vulnerable to tampering. Never mind the controversy over Diebold executives' support for Bush.

And now we have a real-life example of problems caused by pure electronic voting. Much of it is traceable to poor performance by poll workers, but the lack of a paper trail makes fixing or even assessing the damage nearly impossible.

Which is why I don't understand why this is still even under debate.

Board members agreed to hold the hearings, probably in December after the fall elections and runoffs.

Secretary of State Cathy Cox, who chairs the election board, has been dismissive of most of the criticisms of the state's voting machines, saying Wednesday that "so-called experts" have not taken into account a comprehensive series of independent security measures put into place in Georgia.

Perhaps those security measures are enough. But why are we holding the hearings after the elections? Isn't this important enough to put on the front burner?

To quote Reagan, "Trust but verify." Insist on a paper backup; problem solved. Otherwise, expect a blizzard of justified lawsuits from voters and candidates after the fall elections.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean
Whats your opinion on the other "elections" issue of requiring identity cards for all voters ?. Laws requiring ids are being passed in many states, despite the lack of evidence of any serious voter fraud.
-GK

9/26/2006 2:23 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Even though it's a solution in search of a problem, I don't have a problem with IDs at the polls. It seems like an elementary safeguard against voter fraud.

But not having an ID shouldn't mean you can't vote. It should mean you cast a provisional ballot, that will be counted once your identity is verified. The ID requirement should not be used as a barrier to voting.

9/26/2006 2:47 PM  

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