by Mike Masnick

Congress Actually Listening On E-Voting Paper Trail?

from the that-would-be-nice dept

In all of the discussions concerning the weaknesses with electronic voting machines, perhaps the most amazing thing is how hard the e-voting companies have fought against the idea of fixing many of the more obvious problems. While it's not a perfect solution, one of the more obvious issues, that has been brought up for years, is the addition of a paper trail. Basically, as the person votes, a small printer inside the computer would print the vote for the voter to review (behind a see-through window) and make sure it's correct. They would then confirm it and the machine would have a paper trail. Obviously, there's still the possibility that this could be gamed as well -- but it's better than the voting machine being a complete black box, as most currently are. When this issue was getting attention a few years back, everyone's favorite e-voting firm, Diebold, accidentally leaked internal emails from people suggesting that, if the company were forced to put in printers, they should charge a ridiculously high fee for them -- even though many of their machines already had a printer inside, to print out summary results. However, it looks like Diebold might not be able to joke about these issues much more. A bunch of e-voting activists showed up at hearings on Capitol Hill this week, and the amazing thing was that the Congresspeople in the committee meeting were clearly interested. The committee wasn't even supposed to discuss paper trails for voting machines, but they all brought it up -- with some noting how they've been hearing about this issue from worried constituents. While a lot of this is "theater," as the article notes, it's good to hear that politicians are at least listening to the issue, and not brushing it aside as some "fringe" complaint. Even better, is that it appears politicians from both major parties are concerned about it -- so it's not becoming a partisan issue.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Disgruntled Peon, Jul 20th, 2006 @ 12:13pm

    Well see. The Circus will most likely be back with election day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2006 @ 12:31pm


    thats surprising

    i always assumed the congresscritters knew and didnt care. but this suggests they are instead just so damned out of touch and disconnected that they dont even know.

    thats actually good news ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Jezsik, Jul 20th, 2006 @ 12:42pm

    I recently finished Greg Palast’s Armed Madhouse, wherein he explains how the dems lost the election due to voting machine "fraud." Basically, you put complicated voting machines in every district that might vote democrate (namely poor, hispanic, black & native neighborhoods). The votes get spoiled because the voter can't figure out the machine.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Franssu, Jul 20th, 2006 @ 1:22pm

    Diebold machines source code exposed !


    if (keypress == "Republican")
    cast_vote (Rethug);

    if (keypress == "Democrat")
    alert ("Are you sure you want to vote for those damn libruls ?")
    if (keypress == "no")
    cast_vote (Rethug);
    call_system_function (blue_screen_of_death);

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Coder, Jul 20th, 2006 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Diebold machines source code exposed !

    roflmao... eh... that's how it goes... :P

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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