Thursday, September 29, 2011

Won't Someone Think of the Voters!?

Good grief. 
First we have elected officials actually proposing that we suspend elections so we can "get something done" in Washington.
Now we have evidence that the voting machines that we may (or may not?) be using next November are susceptible to some of the easiest hacking we've ever seen.

Isn't it obvious that having a voting system where there's no way to check the results other than to read the same numbers again is nothing but a recipe for disaster? Folks - there are no electronic chads, hanging or otherwise, running the numbers from the same machine through the same machine isn't a recount, it's a rerun! and at least the scantron kinds of ballots can be confirmed by a different counting process, it could be a human or it could be a different machine but at least there's some reason to think that errors would be caught instead of just repeated.

But it's worse when you find out that the machines can be hacked to give different results while the voter is voting but the voter can't even tell it's doing something other than what he intended because there's no way to find the error or fraud when it comes time to get the total votes counted.

Give me a paper ballot or the old mechanical voting booth machines any time - something that simple is easy enough to understand so it's easy to understand what might go wrong - not like software that no one ever really sees like that Excel bug that gave the wrong answer to a simple arithmetic problem that had to get fixed by Microsoft after they had already started selling the program.

I don't know what would be worse - that the people trying to install these machines are too stupid to realize their mistake or that they're actually trying to wreck stuff on purpose.

Posted by Lewis Cannon

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