Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Problems with Electronic Voting

Politics is a necessary aspect of civil society.

As much as people complain about it, democratic government (with all its political baggage) is currently the best way to run a nation.

Unfortunately, democracy is a messy affair. The most basic component of democracy is the vote itself. If there is doubt about the counting of the ballots, the whole system is thrown into question.

The problem is not with voter ID fraud by the voters, as GOP legislators in certain states would have us believe. The greatest danger to democracy is in the counting of the ballots.

Problems with electronic voting, or "e-voting", have plagued our country since it first started being used. If it wasn't for corporate and political corruption this problem would be already solved, quite easily.

I have been personally criticizing our e-voting problem since at least 2006. Looking back at the post below, I also recognized how the unfunded wars in the Middle East were an obvious economic liability:

Muonkey Buddha Archives, Jan 14, 2006 :

To eliminate most challenges to the veracity of the voting machines, you need just ONE absurdly simple feature. The fact that this hasn't been remedied yet is very suspect...

*Each vote should produce 2 paper receipts!!!*

• These receipts would be printed, once the voter verifies his choice.

• The voter keeps one receipt & the other one is deposited into the machine

• The receipt could have a bar code or QR code that could be scanned & visually compared if a recount is needed.

The argument has been made countless times - if an ATM machine can generate a receipt for each transaction, why wouldn't this be applied to something as important as a cast ballot?

I remember the voting inconsistencies during the 2008 election. Hopefully we don't see similar shenanigans this November.

It's difficult to convince people that votes actually matter if these kind of issues can't be resolved.


This article is disturbing in its own right, but especially with the circumstances developing in this particular election:

Common Dreams:

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