Is E-Voting Too Costly To Use? Or Too Costly Not To Use?

from the help-us-out-here dept

Remember earlier this month when the feds wouldn’t decertify existing e-voting machines because that would be too costly? Well, thanks to John for pointing us to a report that notes that the too costly part was actually using the machines in the first place. Utah’s elections officials (the same folks who forced an elections official out of his job for daring to conduct independent security tests of Diebold machines that later turned up a huge security hole) are now claiming they had no idea how expensive it would be to operate an election using e-voting machines. No wonder they were so pissed off at the elections official who tested the machines. As you may recall, Diebold then charged them to examine the reset the machines following the test. It’s not just the cost of the machines that was the problem, but they required a lot more training, more poll-workers and additional costs for storage and maintenance of the machines. As that last article notes, elections shouldn’t necessarily be cheap, but it’s ridiculous to claim that we need to keep the faulty machines because it would be too expensive to get rid of them, when it looks like it’s pretty damn expensive to keep them as well.

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Comments on “Is E-Voting Too Costly To Use? Or Too Costly Not To Use?”

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Toodles says:

Re: Mike - IQ

Seems you’ve been mislead on what IQ means. I’m sure your mother told you that you were special and all that non-sense, so now you have some sort of superiority complex. But hey, that’s ok as long as you’re still willing to learn. So, learn this, the accepted standard IQ scale.

IQ Scale

Over 140 – Genius or almost genius
120 – 140 – Very superior intelligence
110 – 119 – Superior intelligence
90 – 109 – Average or normal intelligence
80 – 89 – Dullness
70 – 79 – Borderline deficiency in intelligence
Under 70 – Feeble-mindedness

Normal Distribution of IQ Scores

50% of IQ scores fall between 90 and 110
70% of IQ scores fall between 85 and 115
95% of IQ scores fall between 70 and 130
99.5% of IQ scores fall between 60 and 140

So, it appears you expect people who are just below Genius to watch the polls? I’m sorry, I think they have better things to be doing. You know, like making in a month what you do in a year.

Anon Utahn says:

The sad thing is this: the communication between the functional users and the technical users. E-voting is a great thing. The systems though are only as great as those who programmed them. As a Utahn, most things in the technical world are poorly implemented by any that are not trusting those technically proficient enough to provide a solid technical program that is sound. It’s a war that is difficult to understand. We strive too much for independence in a world where we are interdependent. In Utah we slide from one extreme or maxim to to the other. Why is it soooo difficult to find the common ground acceptable and then providing for security and functional use for the common end user.
The real problem is that we can validate the system instantaneously and provide a strong audit of real activities. That scares many politicians. Who cares what one believes, but c’mon be accountable for the choices and actions you choose to prescribe too. The world would be a far better place if we followed some simple moral principles.
Hopefully e-voting can be implemented better throughout the country on a *nix platform or at least even a mac platform. Open source e-voting, now there’s an idea, granted to be shot down quicker than any other bright idea. Cheers

566 says:

sarcasm and cynicism aside: no long term studies

A report was recently issued suggesting HAVA funds were spent in appropriately – without the benefit of significant life-cycle analyses. In terms of costs, no one has empirical evidence, one way or another.

The dynamic that pushed the states to make uninformed decisions in their purchases is similar to that used by the federal government when it coerced states into falling into line for a nationwide drinking age and speed limit.

Following Bush v. Gore, short-term remedial tactics were chosen over longer-term strategic investment decisions to the benefit of certain voting system vendors.

Solo says:

We have computers that can simulate nuclear explosions, saving us to actually explode test nukes. We can predict the weather fairly accurately, thanks to better computer modeling.

But adding a number each time a button is pushed. No can do.

Think about what problems e-voting is solving. Use that as a requirement. Craft a solution accodingly.

My opinion is that paper election is better. Proven, reliable, accountable. Get those characteristics in e-voting and then we can talk.

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