by Mike Masnick
Thu, Apr 17th 2008 3:17pm
It was Congress that first mandated that polling places needed to start using e-voting machines a few years back, which has led to the ridiculously long trail of stories concerning buggy machines with questionable results and no way to go back and check to see how accurate the results are. It appears that politicians have finally been realizing that the lack of a paper trail (even if just to confirm the results) is problematic. So they're pushing states to make sure they use e-voting machines that also include a paper trail. But, when it comes to paying to make those changes, the states are apparently on their own. Congress has rejected a plan to fund the states in making sure a paper backup was available. Why? Well, as Rep. Vernon Ehlers says: "I think there are other methods of achieving redundancy" though he conveniently leaves those out. He then notes: "hand counting is not as accurate as almost any machine counting that I have seen." It's true that hand counting has its problems too. No one denies that. But the point isn't that hand counting is perfect, but that there's a way to go back and compare the results to make sure they're correct and accurate. Without that in place, we're simply relying on the machines to work perfectly, and we know that doesn't work.
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