An interesting article on the benefits and problems of electronic voting machine systems, and why many are concerned about accountability. (These issues potentially affect everyone, because if you don't believe that EITHER party would screw the other if given the chance and they could get away with it, I have a bridge for sale.)
As the old saying goes, "Trust, but verify." Who gets to verify, and how?
EDIT: Heh, use CRZ's link. Forgot that I had a cookie providing a generic NYT login (got it from Slashdot, I think).
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#3 Posted on 15.5.03 1154.37 Reposted on: 15.5.10 1157.57
I hate the electronic machines; they're coming to Maryland by 2006. It's not that I'm more or less worried about fraud than I am with current methods, it's just that with paper or optical scan ballots there is a definite paper trail that proves in the long run who you voted for. That makes me feel better about my vote.
#4 Posted on 15.5.03 1247.53 Reposted on: 15.5.10 1249.20
I my personal opinion is that I LIKE new technology, but I still think there needs to be a hard-copy for the actual counting.
Maybe they should design some machines where you have a ballot that you insert into the machine, then, after you finish voting, it prints your votes onto the ballot. Then you can check it, to make sure it tabulated your vote property, and turn the ballot in like normal.
With something as important as an election- I just dont trust computers. Anyone who has lost a file, had a crash, or even been hacked in someway I am sure will understand. With certain things of great importance, some things are just better on paper...
#5 Posted on 19.5.03 1014.58 Reposted on: 19.5.10 1018.25
Of course, what will print the paper? The computer, right? So if there is a glitch, isn't it as likely that it the flaw is in what's printed on the paper as it is that the flaw is what was recorded by the computer system? Or maybe the flaw would be in both (it records the wrong name, prints the wrong name, but if you recount it, the hand-count would roughly (due to human error) match the machine-count)
People will put an over-reliance in both computers AND humans. Computers are not 100% fool-proof because they are programmed by humans. And of course human methods are imperfect because they are done by humans (this was frustrating during the Florida thing, people were acting as if the hand counts would be so much more reliable than the machine counts. As long as the machines were in good working order, there was never a doubt in my mind that those counts would be more reliable than the ridiculously tough task of hand-counting thousands and thousands of votes. Were the machines completely error-free? Of course not. But would they be more reliable than humans, assuming they were working properly. Absolutely.)
Obviously some kind of mechanism has to be used for voting. I guess computers are as good as anything. But I'm not sure that they are worth the expense, because I think the punch cards work fine, too. (as far as mistakes go, I notice one of the technologies they are using are pencil scan-tron sheets. Hmm, you know people can just as easily fill in the wrong bubble as punch the wrong hole, and they will on a rare basis. Also, I can already imagine the next big controversy, instead of looking at hanging 'chads', voter officials will be looking at smudge marks.) But if you read in the article, you can pretty much tell that the decision to do this is not as much about how reliable the new system is as it is about how reliable voters THINK the new system is. (heck, most of the data quoted is simply polls from voters about how reliable they think the new system is, which is really irrelevant to how reliable the new system acually is) And I guess there is something to be said for the need of voter confidence in the electorial process.
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