August 19, 2003

Vote early and often

You may have heard of (and your state may have considered buying) E-voting systems, whereby your vote is made via touchscreen or a similar electronic method. This is called "direct-recording electronic" voting, and the Feds are ponying up $3.9 billion to states to speed up the conversion from punched-card and/or levered systems. The problem is, a study by Johns Hopkins University researchers has shown that the security for these systems is pretty lax, they can be hacked, and there's no paper audit trail.

With such security questions floating around, legislators say they're asking tough questions of the entire electronic voting industry. And, basically, what those questions boil down to is trust.

Should Americans trust the results of federal-level tests on voting systems?

With critics like Dill and Rubin, that's easy to answer, said Doug Lewis, executive director of the Federal Election Commission.

"They want their view to win out, no matter if it's fact or fiction," he said.

For legislators and voters, Lewis is a bit more hopeful. "At some point in this society, you have to trust the institutions that are in charge of it," he said.

Mr. Lewis, that might be a hard sell to American voters who remember the spectacle of thugs invading the offices of Miami-Dade election workers to disrupt vote-counting in 2000. With electronic fiddling, nobody even risks assault or trespass charges. (Link via TalkLeft.)

Posted by Linkmeister at August 19, 2003 12:01 AM

TRUST? Riiiiiiiiight.

Posted by: JeanNINE at August 19, 2003 08:48 AM

I think that any election in the US will be so watched by the news media and citizens that it will not be so easy to fool the voters.
Or, at least, that's what I'm hoping will happen. We've been lied to so much in the last 3 years, our awareness has jumped considerably. Well, mine sure has.....

Posted by: toxiclabrat at August 19, 2003 11:46 AM