Conservative Mag Reports on Ease of Electronic Vote Hacking

Conservative magazine Insight finally reports on a subject that was widely known well before the 2000 presidential election - Diebold voting machines are easy to hack.

Electronic voting machines should not be used with or without a paper receipt. It is too easy to program computers to say what you want them to say.

Our primative electoral department in lowly Westland, Michigan uses a long paper ballot that even provides a paper receipt. It doesn't create any longer lines than our touchscreen voting system did during the 2000 election, and I am confident that when I darken the circle for Ralph Nader on my ballot, it will read Ralph Nader when it comes out the other end. I had no such confidence in 2000.

By the way, did I say Ralph Nader for president in 2008? Or maybe Jesse Ventura...


Paul Hue said...

Nadir: I fully and enthusiastically support any effort to eliminate voter fraud. I do believe that with electronic systems safely conducting all of our financial affairs better and more efficiently and accurately than paper ever did, we can construct the same thing for voting. I have outlined my proposal before to ensure the best possible voting system, though a search fails to locate the post. I will recreate it presently.

Nadir said...

When my web dude and I drove to DC a couple of weeks ago, we stopped at a gas station in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. Their computer was down, and they could neither pump gas nor sell anything in the store. For however long that system was down, they were out of business.

This would be a great problem to recreate with the US electoral system.

Paper and mechanical voting isn't perfect, but is harder to manipulate than zeroes and ones.

Paul Hue said...

Nadir: The petro station that went out of business when their computers went down suffered one of the drawbacks of this technology; nothing's perfect. If they went back to analog cash registers, hand-accounting, and slider-bar credit card processing they would then suffer from the relative drawbacks of that technology.

Financial accounting and voter accounting are just about identical technologies. Both even present incentives for hacking a fraud. But one clearly succeeds and represents an advance. Why not the other? How is it even possible that in 1960 election officials found the perfect process for voter accounting that would not be improved upon by technological advances?