Miscounting the votes

October 15th, 2003 – 8:26 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

There’s a pretty bleak article over at The Independent about the problems with the new American voting machines:

Now, weird things like this do occasionally occur in elections, and the figures, on their own, are not proof of anything except statistical anomalies worthy of further study. But in Georgia there was an extra reason to be suspicious. Last November, the state became the first in the country to conduct an election entirely with touchscreen voting machines, after lavishing $54m (£33m) on a new system that promised to deliver the securest, most up-to-date, most voter-friendly election in the history of the republic. The machines, however, turned out to be anything but reliable. With academic studies showing the Georgia touchscreens to be poorly programmed, full of security holes and prone to tampering, and with thousands of similar machines from different companies being introduced at high speed across the country, computer voting may, in fact, be US democracy’s own 21st-century nightmare.

The outlook isn’t good, as the major U.S. media outlets continue to pretty much ignore the entire issue, or to mention it only in passing. The majority of Americans probably don’t even realize that there are so many potential problems, or that serious voting discrepancies have already occurred in some places. Of course, the majority of Americans don’t even bother to vote, so I suppose it doesn’t make much difference to them anyway.

Oh, and there’s also an article over at Salon about the experience of one poll observer in Riverside County, CA. It’s a lot like the one I recently linked to in Wired, and shows local election officials who are apparently unconcerned by all of the problems associated with the new machines.

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