Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Electronic Voting Machines Will Destroy American Democracy

If you somehow missed it, AP released a “test article” claiming Bush had won re-election. BoingBoing has the story, and screen captures of a web site that carried it.

We all know that computers don’t make mistakes, and that software is bug-free. More seriously, we need to take a lesson from Florida, and understand that what gives American democracy its legitimacy is that we can all watch what happens at the polls, believe that other Americans are doing the same, and that its hard to pull a fast one on any scale.

Governor Schwarzenegger has signed a bill requiring paper ballots that can be recounted in California by 2006. Its time for a national law banning computer-only elections. What’s at stake is trust that our elections work.

How are you voting on November 2nd?

2 comments on "Electronic Voting Machines Will Destroy American Democracy"

  • sama says:

    I will be using one of those giant metal machines from the latter 20th century to vote.
    Actually, the big problem is motor-voter, which in essence makes it illegal to ask for ID when voting or registering, thus turning the voter rolls into a free for all.
    The whole purpose of a census is to count those who are allower to vote, so that nobody gets to vote twice. Unfortunately, there will be a whole lot of people voting twice or more this election, computer balloting or not.

  • adam says:

    I agree that the votor rolls are a mess, but I don’t think motor votor does what you claim. Mail-in votes are not anonymous, and so can be audited. An awful lot of the (voting day) multi-voting problem could be cured by dipping people’s fingers in ink. They do this in Africa, and it’s remarkably effective: If your index finger is bright purple, you can’t vote again.
    (We could make voting cool: Purple is the new black!)

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