A Vote Against (And A Possible Solution For) Computerized Voting

from the arguing-for-the-same-thing dept

Mark Rotenberg has written an article in the latest issue of MIT’s Technology Review arguing why computerized voting machines are bad. He claims the article is in response to Simson Garfinkel’s column last month about why computerized voting is better than the alternative. However, in reading Rotenberg’s piece, I don’t think the two are disagreeing. In fact, I don’t think anybody in this debate is really disagreeing except for the electronic vote machine builders. Rotenberg and others are claiming that the current versions of electronic voting machines are dreadful and open to all kinds of fraud. However, they’re not damning all electronic voting. In fact, the article suggests a completely reasonable solution to the electronic voting machine question: showing the voter a printed receipt that remains in the voting machine. This way, there’s a paper trail, should it need to be audited – and it avoids the problems of “vote selling” (using the receipt to prove you voted for who you were told to vote for). Seems like a perfectly reasonable solution – and yet the Diebold’s of the world go on PR campaigns about how wonderful their security-hole filled machines are.

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