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Trevor Stone's Journal
Those who can, do. The rest hyperlink.
Crack the Vote 
8th-Jul-2003 06:03 pm
Trevor baby stare
Slashdot mentioned this, but it's worth repeating far and wide. Diebold electronic voting machines may be (are) very insecure. In short, an insider or intruder can very easily modify vote totals while leaving little, if any, trace.

Conceptually, I'm a big fan of electronic voting. Florida proved the amazing error rate of the scads of paper-based voting systems deployed across the country. Electronic voting is potentially much simpler, safer, and more accurate. It can allow for safe same-day registration, among other things. However, improperly done, it can facilitate significant fraud. Electronic voting systems should be extensively evaluated by a wide spectrum of security experts of varied political stripe (partisan and ideally nonpartisan). The ideal system would be open source so that citizens can insure fair election practices. Closing a system's source for fear that someone might crack it is the wrong idea -- if someone can crack it, it shouldn't be used. (Paper-based voting systems are all open-source.) Finally, multiple vote-counting systems should be in effect. Electronic systems could produce a paper ballot which is verified by the voter and then placed in a traditional ballot box. Then, both electronic and paper votes are counted. Significant (and certainly meaningful) discrepancies should be investigated.

Voting is one of the few available checks on corruption in a democracy. It should be as robust as possible.
Comments 
8th-Jul-2003 08:08 pm (UTC)
I thought it was a neat idea, and then I read this, and I know it is probably over the top, but it made me think a little more about it. I agree. Open Source would be good.
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