The joys of technology

Even before I read the book Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering for the 21st Century a few years ago I was weary of technological improvements in voting systems. I have a love-hate relationship with technology it seems, sometimes I love new tech gadgets, other times I think we shouldn’t mess with what works, and reading that book definetely pushed me over the edge from just being concerned about electronic voting, to downright distrustful.

Amy Goodman reported on Democracy Now today that early voters in multiple states have already had problems casting votes on electronic voting machines. Many of these electronic voting systems have no paper trail or verifiability. Once you push the button you just have to trust that your vote gets counted for candidate you intended. There’s no way to ever got back and double check like with paper ballots. Many of these electronic voting systems are closed-source, meaning no one has examined the source code to make sure there are no bugs that can cause votes to not be counted properly, or ensure that there is no malicious code to change votes.

Many states have withdrawn approval for certain electronic voting machines, but other states are still using them.

Wikipedia has good summaries of the controversies surrounding two of the electronic voting machine companies Premier Election Solutions and Sequoia Voting Systems.

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