Transparency is key to a functioning democracy. No, we don't always have it, but we absolutely should be striving for it, or you can almost guarantee corruption will take over. That's why we've been so focused on the problems with e-voting machines for so many years, and pushing for increased transparency. Now, some of the researchers who wrote a recent suppressed report
, about potential security problems with the Sequoia e-voting machines used in New Jersey, followed the procedures in place to be allowed to view the process by which votes are counted. This is a perfectly legal request. The Elections Board is allowed to offer "Challenger Badges" to those who would like to observe the election process. You would think that some Princeton-associated folks, with knowledge of e-voting, would be exactly the type of people that an Elections Board would want
to observe the election, in order to make sure that it was done properly, and to make citizens more comfortable that their votes would be counted.
But, of course, that's not what happened.
Andrew Appel and Grayson Barber had their request rejected
as the Elections Board claimed it was "too important" an election to allow in any outside observers. You would think that if the election is so important, having some experts on hand to make sure the process is done in an acceptable manner would be more important
. You can understand why they don't want too many people in the room, or don't want anyone who is clearly a partisan activist -- but these are e-voting experts. There's simply no reason not to have them in the room, and rejecting them raises many more questions about New Jersey's process for counting votes.