Friday, November 17, 2006

Paper or Pshaw?

On Election Day I mentioned how pleasantly surprised and pleased I was that the electronic voting machine, on which I cast my ballot, required me to print out each page before it would finalize my vote.

I don't care
which company gets the contract, or for that matter, if there will be many different manufactures of these machines. As long as they're consistent with some basic rules of integrity, the method of voting can be up to the regional boards of elections.

An archivable paper trail is still the most important element of that integrity. All the Feds should have to do is require as much (amongst certain other relevant factors) from the several states when those count their votes.


Every single one of them needs to count
and be counted.
Congressmen Urge That Voting Machines Provide a 'Paper Trail'
by Lesley Clark


WASHINGTON - Two longtime congressional critics of electronic voting machines seized on the turmoil in Florida Wednesday to renew a call for a paper trail of voter ballots.


As investigators in Sarasota County, Fla., continued to sort out why 18,000 blank votes, or "undervotes," were recorded in the race to replace Rep. Katherine Harris, New Jersey Democratic Rep. Rush Holt charged that the inaccuracy of the machines "poses a direct threat to the integrity of our electoral system and to our nation's democracy."


"Without a voter-verified paper audit trail, no satisfactory resolution is possible," said Holt, adding that machine problems also cropped up in New Jersey. "One side or the other will always doubt the result."


Florida officials continued to investigate Sarasota County's touch-screen voting machines. The "undervote" in the congressional race was far more than the undervote in other counties in the congressional district.


But Holt noted that without a paper record there was no way to tell what happened.


"Whatever the origin, whether it was software error or voter error or malicious hacking, you should have a way to resolve it," he said. "Now Florida once again finds itself electorally up in the air."

[Read the rest . . . ]



4 comments:

  1. You know, sometimes the simpliest things seem to confuse the government the most. They seem to always be trying to make mountains out of mole hills.

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  2. Machine problems in NJ? I voted the first year they used them in my district and they were great. I do however have to say, the paper form is a great idea.

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  3. A paper trail is an absolute must. How else to prove who is stealing an election?

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  4. Too many people to suggest one primary reason Bureaucrats make things SO very difficult. There are plenty of contributing factors though, eh.

    I'm in agreement that the PaperTrail is a (Constitutional even!) MUST.

    Let the several states prove they can handle the tech challenges, and we can happily leave a Federal take-over of election over-sight outta the equation. But, yes and no argument brooked, IMO, a print out must be a mandatory element of any voting device.

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