Friday, October 20, 2006

Secure Your Vote

I don't think we need any more reason to ditch Diebold as our computerized voting provider, but there's one more anyway (link via our own Dave G). It doesn't matter if Diebold does or doesn't have nefarious intentions. They can't even secure their own source-code against real world theft, and we already know that making secure boxes is not something they know how to do. As much as I hate to say so, Ehrlich is exactly right. We can't trust these machines.

On a more general level, I think computerized voting is a terrible idea. Making such systems secure is incredibly complex task and very few people are up to it (Microsoft isn't, for example). Given that, it seems unlikely that computerized voting will solve the problems it purports to solve. You can't guarantee transparency and you can't guarantee an accurate count. You supposedly can guarantee a fast count, but I'm personally willing to trade speed for accuracy. Do we really need to know the results of an election 5 hours after the polls close?

If one wants an accurate count with full transparency, paper counted by people is unfortunately the way to go.

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