Technology with attitude

Officials Deem Electronic Voting Unreliable

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That’s right. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has reported that nobody can ensure the security of these machines and so we should have paper trail…but an old kind of paper trail.

And can I just say…it’s about damn time!

From the Wash Post:

The assessment by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the government’s premier research centers, is the most sweeping condemnation of such voting systems by a federal agency.

In a report hailed by critics of electronic voting, NIST said that voting systems should allow election officials to recount ballots independently from a voting machine’s software. The recommendations endorse “optical-scan” systems in which voters mark paper ballots that are read by a computer and electronic systems that print a paper summary of each ballot, which voters review and elections officials save for recounts.

Hell, I’ve used optical scan most times and have always thought that’s the way we should go. And yes, that means I think we need to collectively abandon the electronic machines, go back to optical-scan and be done with it. It’s realiable, there’s a clear paper trail and no worries about hanging chads. Of course we spent a lot of money on those Diebold machines, but that doesn’t mean we should use them.