Sunday, August 07, 2005

What I don't like about Nonpaper Election Machines

The Diebold Variations, or fun with those who hide.

What's wrong with paperless voting machines? Let me count the concerns...
  1. Too easy to control the vote counts. With paper you have the intent of the voter on hand, a vote in the computer can be moved around without any one the wiser.
  2. No paper means no backup. Also, no way to insure how you voted.
  3. The touch screens can be used to identify voters. It's actually quite simple:
    • have a database of all registered voters in a precinct with their fingerprints.
    • Make sure the touchscreen is able to read fingerprints. (They can detect touch, I'm sure it's just a matter of computer power to include the reading of fingerprints).
    • Set up the program so that votes for certain candidates (or parties) get the fingerprints read.
    • Match the finger print to the database.
    • Persecute to Taste (or insure good fortune, if that person voted your way)
  4. No ability to vote for write-ins. What's a democracy if a well-meaning independent can't do a grassroots campaign and get write-ins? These electronic machines are set up so write-ins can't happen.
Yes, there's way for people to figure out who voted for whom, to cancel out write-ins, to mess with vote counts and fool people into making their vote not count. But the electronic voting stuff makes all the above things SO much easier; simply because you no longer have to work at those things -- just reprogram things to do it for you. No need for goons or people in your pocket to work at messing up the ballots; just a few programmers to fiddle with the results.

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