As e-voting grows, calls for paper trail delay cards' demise

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by wdlove, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #1
    Florida's infamous hanging chads and butterfly ballots in the 2000 presidential election prompted a land rush to electronic voting across the country. But five months before the 2004 election, a chorus of computer scientists and activists see potential for electoral meltdown in the growing trend toward touch-screen technology.

    Despite reports of malfunctions in jurisdictions around the country, the use of ''direct recording electronic" voting machines has been growing dramatically. In this year's presidential election, 50 million registered voters, 29 percent of the total, will be able to cast their ballots on ATM-like machines, according to Election Data Services, a consulting firm that has tabulated election methods since 1980. That's about 2 times the number who voted on digital touch screens in 2000.

    In recent weeks, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader and former Democratic candidate Howard Dean have joined those calling for more security, particularly paper-trail backup systems. Under pressure from many of its members, the League of Women Voters abruptly reversed itself this month, abandoning its support for paperless e-voting, advocating instead ''secure, accurate, recountable, and accessible" systems.

    A number of election officials and equipment manufacturers say these critics are alarmists, unschooled in the way elections are conducted in the real world.

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/06/21/as_e_voting_grows_calls_for_paper_trail_delay_cards_demise/
     
  2. parenthesis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2003
    Location:
    Here and there
  3. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    #3
    If you need to know about voter fraud ask a Libertarian candidate...

    I have spent hours discussing this with someone who both knows computers and knows how the electoral system should work. One of his biggest complaints about the machines is that they aren't open source. Even with a paper trail the machine could tamper with it and tamper with the votes. Imagine if every 10th D got changed to an R? What if the vote was canceled during the verification process and revoted after the person left the booth?
     
  4. KingSleaze macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    So. Cal
    #4
    How the electoral system SHOULD work. Changing the paper trail......
    We think they meant to vote this way instead of that way. The voter was confused and meant to vote for my candidate instead of who s/he actually did vote for.
    Gaaaaaaaa.
    The systems (punch cards, etc.) had been in place for a long time, approved by all major political parties and suddenly they aren't good enough when somebody loses a close race. Wah, freaking, wah.
    Yes, maybe the process needs to be updated, but not without approval and within the procedures set.
     
  5. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #5
    Enough papers have been written and research done to make it pretty obvious our one-vote, winner-takes-all approach (as opposed to ranking candidates, etc.) isn't the best voting system out there, nor even among the best.

    So, arguably, even if we can capture votes perfectly, the election process is still flawed.

    However, assuming we'll stick with the process we have (seems impossible to change it), why not just have the computer booths print out a pre-punched, printed sheet of paper, which then gets read by a punch reader?

    It'd be visually obvious to the voter who they voted for, and the punch reader wouldn't have to deal with poorly punched cards. You'd have a paper trail, and you'd eliminate most mistakes, assuming, of course, people would look at the printout. But, if they don't, they wouldn't have verified the computer screen or a do-it-yourself punchcard either.
     
  6. wdlove thread starter macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #6
    I agree, it would just give more confidence to the voter to see a printout. Definitely wouldn't want to leave an ATM either without a receipt.
     
  7. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #7
    I heard the first Diebold machines tested were found to have an extra, unused internal modem that was a major security breach. Oops, we configured and installed an extra part in all of our machines, no fraud there :mad:

    the upcoming election is going to be so screwed up. i have a feeling the hanging chad problems will be dwarfed by the number of disenfranchised voters and record fraud that will (hopefully) be discovered afterwards. But really, with a paperless system, a candidate with a strong party could easily steal the election and never be caught.

    this is what America has become, all for the sake of touch-screen convenience.

    paul
     
  8. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    #8
    Part of the problem is that the card won't necessarily read the same way twice. As cards are read the chads which aren't exactly level can be dislodged. There were issues with this in the Florida recounts. As some ballots were counted and recounted, bent, folded, spindled and mutilated chads fell out and double votes increased. Ironically its the second time Florida screwed up the presidential elections and the second time it went to the Republicans.
     
  9. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    #9
    You and I never agree but here we do. Second modems are bad. Any modems are bad.

    Its going to be screwed up at least at local levels. There will be protests if Bush wins by anything less than a landslide and if Kerry wins by anything less than a couple of percent.

    Papered or paperless the election can be bought or stolen. A strong party can do it no matter what. Touch screen convenience has the greatest advantage of preventing unintentional non votes or double votes.
     

Share This Page