'It Could Have Been Worse' Hardly Seems Like A Defense Of E-Voting Technology

from the just-imagine-how-bad-it-could-have-been dept

With a new report coming out that highlights many of the problems that voters using e-voting machines faced in the last election, it's more interesting to look at the response from supporters of those machines. An article in the Houston Chronicle mentions the report and then quotes someone defending the machines by giving the "it could have been worse" defense: "Failure will happen.... Critical failures are ones in which voters are turned away. By and large, looking at the last general election, we consider it a success." Given just how many problems there were, and how widespread they were, it seems pretty ridiculous to consider "success" to be a lack of catastrophic errors (which some people might disagree with). Certainly, it could have been much worse, but with something as important as democratic voting, you would think that a higher standard would be used.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    DigitalBomb, Jan 4th, 2007 @ 3:20am

    E-voting already sickens me. I don't want my ideas turned into data and sent over a network that could be potentially compromised. I also don't want them to have to pass through a program that someone random made. I'm a programmer and if anyone had offered me a job making a program to handle voting, I'd have to hurt them for being a sick individual.

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

  2. identicon
    Apathy Party, Jan 4th, 2007 @ 4:26am

    Thank Got New York Uses the Lever

    All I have to say is,

    Gerald Ford's Head: Frankly, I've never felt voting to be all that essential to the process.
    Richard Nixon's Head: No kidding, Ford!

    Too Soon? Should I have waited 22.3 years.

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

  3. identicon
    misanthropic humanist, Jan 4th, 2007 @ 7:07am

    second best

    It's odd that a country that sees itself as the champion of democracy is happy to settle for a second rate democratic process.

    I can see the breakup of the United States in the not too distant future unless this is addressed post haste.

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

  4. identicon
    citizenj, Jan 4th, 2007 @ 7:31am

    Thank Got....

    yes, but do the voters get shiny new metal bodies? cuz hey, i'd vote for nixon......

    no i wouldn't. nevermind.

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

  5. identicon
    Bob, Jan 4th, 2007 @ 7:33am

    Dont worry

    Don't worry your vote wont count anyway.

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

  6. identicon
    KB, Jan 4th, 2007 @ 7:42am


    Your ideas????? Since when is there a comment field on an election ballot.

    I find the whole thing hilarious personally. It makes no difference whether the system is electronic or manual, it's still a flawed system. The States is rapidly becoming the most non-democratic country on the planet and most of the tagged-and-bagged consumer-citizens don't even see it!

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

  7. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Jan 4th, 2007 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re:

    But the worst part is that those that do see it can't really do anything about it. Yeah you can write letters, protest, and so but just how much good do those do when you have corporations literally paying politicians to have custom-made laws? I'm not saying people should just roll over and take it but it's a serious uphill battle and it's gonna take a lot more than some protest slogans, enlightening letters to the editor, and insightful blog to repair things.

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

  8. identicon
    Skot Elektron, Jan 4th, 2007 @ 8:35am

    syntax error

    "democratic voting"? last time i checked we were in a republic... and there aren't any real democracies. not yet, anyway. democracy implies equal voice. maybe that is why we need to support the technology. can you tell i worked for diebold elections systems??? LOL CONTRACTOR... not full-time ;)

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2007 @ 12:00pm

    Re: syntax error

    "last time i checked we were in a republic"

    Not according to your Commander-in-chief..... He's been sailing round the world bombing people for the last 5 years under the guise of spreading democracy. (And to tie in to the thread...) maybe i you hadn't voted him in (or did you?) you wouldn't have this problem.

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

  10. identicon
    Tyshaun, Jan 4th, 2007 @ 1:26pm

    Re: syntax error


    It isn't funny anymore. Everytime there is a discourse on voting on techDirt someone brings out the old "well it's actually a republic and not a democracy!"

    OK, we get it, you paid attention in high school social studies. Just remember, most people in the US and the world will refer to it as a democracy and the term loosely has come to mean a system of government in which people vote for their leadership (as opposed to the other generic term dictatorship, which has come to include monarchies, true dictatorship, and any flavor of government not considered a democracy).

    Again, the above definitions are not precise, but that is how they are being used by most people (even those smarty pants political commentators on TV) so deal!

    As per the voting machines, I'm just gonna sit back and wait until we get the reports of politicians paying off hackers to swing elections and the throngs of people saying "how can this be, how could this happen"

    "Freedom isn't free. Freedom demands the diligence and discipline to monitor our leaders and sometimes freedom requires the blood of heroes to protect it"
    - JFK

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

  11. icon
    Alex Austin (profile), Jan 5th, 2007 @ 1:45am

    Of course voting is insecure.

    If someone can write believable satire about it... http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20061027/123128.shtml

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

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