Venezuelan Election Using Paper Trail To Verify E-Voting Is Accurate

from the a-step-forward dept

While some say that it's impossible to have a secure and accurate election using e-voting machines, having some sort of paper trail backup certainly goes a long way towards relieving the biggest fears associated with e-voting machines. While we don't yet have them in the US, Venezuela's national election this coming weekend will have a verifiable paper trail associated with each voting machine. After a person votes, the machine will spit out a receipt for the voter to review. They will then put the receipt into a box so that it can be counted (and also to avoid "vote buying" where the voter can prove he or she voted for a specific candidate). Not only that, but election officials are going to count millions of the votes and compare them with the e-vote totals to make sure they're accurate. They're not only going to take a small, self-selected sample, or only in specific cases where misuse is suspected. Apparently, they're going to audit over half of the machines by checking the paper ballots. That's pretty impressive and makes it that much harder to question the results of the election. Update: Some great comments left by people in Venezuela who point out why many are still uncomfortable with the e-voting machines and still expect fraud.
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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2006 @ 6:46pm

    I'm sorry, but as a Venezuelan I would like to express a completely opposite point of view.

    These are the most feared elections my country has ever had. I personally don't trust these E-Voting machines. Just in case you were wondering why we have such an "advanced" technology in E-Voting machines with printers included, it has a very simple answer:

    These are not original voting machines, they are Italian lottery machines... Thats why they have printers!!! They were bought dirt cheap and 'modified' to work as voting machines.

    In our last elections, our Referendum, where we voted 'Yes' or 'No' if we wanted the candidate to leave, we also had a paper trail. BUT, some of the boxes 'magically' disappeared when they were brought back to our capital city. And the rest, even though we asked that they would be fully counted, to verify the results, not a single box was opened.

    Another thing I would like to mention, and I would like you to keep in mind the right to a secret vote. Here, in Venezuela, you can buy a Data-DVD called 'Maisanta'. This is a database containing most of the voter's Name, I.D. and who they voted for in this election. Something similar also ocurred in the previous election, although the database wasn't 'leaked' as far as this one.

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