Friday, August 22, 2008


SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Planning to E-Vote? Read This First (ht2 Undernews)
In their rush to avoid a repeat of the controversy that plagued the 2000 presidential election, and to meet the requirements of Congress's hastily mandated 2002 Help America Vote Act, states and counties flocked to electronic voting systems they hoped would eliminate hanging chads and other flaws inherent in paper-based systems. Six years later, with another presidential election less than three months away, many e-voting systems are fraught with security glitches, and the technology has yet to prove itself as the solution voters were looking for.

Such systems could allow voters and poll workers to place multiple votes, crash the systems by loading viruses, and fake vote tallies, according to studies commissioned by the states of California and Ohio within the past year [. . .]

One of the reasons e-voting systems turned out to be such a failure is that the only people involved in checking these systems were the vendors, who wanted to sell their technology, and the local election officials, who were ill-equipped to understand the security issues. . .
And there's this WaPo article where Premier Election Solutions f/k/a Diebold (the irony of that new branding!) admits error. (ht2 Talk Left)
A voting system used in 34 states contains a critical programming error that can cause votes to be dropped while being electronically transferred from memory cards to a central tallying point, the manufacturer acknowledges.
All the more reason to do what Canada does: use paper and hand-counted ballots! Deb Markowitz, are you listening?


  1. The title makes it sound like you have a choice on which voting equipment you use, which you don't.

    Aside from that, it's a great post. Paper ballots that are hand counted certainly are the least subject to fraud.

  2. You don't have a choice, indeed.
    More and more Vermont towns, even, are switching to the optical scanners, which are not tamper proof.


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