Are Federal Laws Actively Making Voting Less Secure?

from the seems-that-way dept

Here’s an example where a law seems to be getting in the way of making things right — and the inflexibility of that law actually leading to many more problems than it solves. The law in question is the Help America Vote Act, which was designed to make it easier for blind and disabled voters to vote by replacing old voting technology with new voting technology. That all sounds good in theory, but the problem (if you hadn’t noticed) is that the new voting technology has a ton of problems such as being easily hacked and having no verifiable way of recounting the votes. Still, since the federal law is in place, California’s refusal to certify Diebold e-voting machines over concern for their reliability and accuracy means that many state election officials are worried that they’re violating federal laws. It’s a valid concern — but the election officials are making the wrong argument. They’re pushing to just be allowed to use the questionable Diebold equipment, rather than demanding that the federal voting law only apply if the voting equipment meets certain minimum standards.

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Comments on “Are Federal Laws Actively Making Voting Less Secure?”

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Chuck says:

I wonder why

Gee, you think that they’re striving to make voting more secure? The damned things have holes in the code big enought to drive a truck through, while state lawmakers in some places (Ohio comes to mind) are passing legislation that slams the door on any attempt to scrutinize the machines, the code or even the verification process itself. To top it off, if anyone so much as speculates that someone may take advantage of the situation, they’re labeled conspiracy nuts. Everyone knows that folks inside the Beltway would never take advantage of weaknesses in voting systems for mere power.

Anonymous Coward says:

blind and disabled, yeah right

The whole “help the blind and disabled” aspect of HAVA was simply the smokescreen behind which the people in power achieved their true goal: to mandate voting machines that can be hacked/rigged to help those in power stay there, and to help invite their friends to the continuing lavish feast. Face it, the U.S. is no longer a representative democracy.

Mastermind says:

Re: blind and disabled, yeah right

I agree, I feel our goverment is becoming less and less trustworthy. Just look at the so called campain fund raising reform. But what are we to do about it? Its imposible to vote the bad guys out when there are no good guys to vote for. Or for those of you that say there are a few good guys left, they are few and far between these days. This is a serious problem, with no obvious answers.

Keith says:

Re: Re: blind and disabled, yeah right

Well – you at least need to be able to vote for the bad guys from both teams into office.
That way – there are some checks and balances so neither of the bad guys go too far. Right now, we have too many bad guys from one team in power and no bad guys on the other team with the power to keep them in line.

Sad Citizen says:

Re: Re: Farewell to Democracy, Unless...

Present circumstances are such that voting (the former bulwark of Democracy)can no longer be relied upon to reflect the will of the people. The computers have been placed in too many districts already. Thus, more voting will not likely solve the problem. The only avenue left is education of local legislators in the hope that they value Democracy enough to make state laws to prevent abuses in their own states – even if they have to violate federal law to do it. If most states revolt against federal abuses, the federal government will have no recourse, as its authority will collapse until it carries out the will of the states.

Dispassionate Outsider says:

Use the Force

This issue is something no voter should ignore, whatever party they support, and the ‘big bad’ politicians can only ignore it if you let them!!
Lobby all your representatives. Keep it simple, and demand that this issue is addressed before the ‘democracy’ in your country becomes even more of a joke to the rest of the world than it is already.
I have seen people use the internet to organise and make demands of big organisations such as TV companies over such important issues as their favourite Sci-Fi show being cancelled.
Why not make the same effort for something that really is important??? Stop moaning, get organised, and help people to email their representatives, at all levels of government.
You do still have a democracy: use it or lose it…

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