Saturday, September 11, 2004
Will computers eat their votes?
A fast-growing anti-electronic movement spearheaded by computer scientists says an electoral train wreck is in the works for Nov. 2.
And it won't be confined to Florida. They say touch screens have repeatedly been tested in various state elections over the past two years with disastrous results.
Machines routinely crashed, effectively disenfranchising thousands who couldn't return to vote later.
In some states, voters touched the screen beside candidate X only to see it indicate a vote for candidate Y. Others were offered incomplete ballots.
Local poll workers, hired for the day, hadn't a clue how to fix or restart the machines. Time and again, votes were lost.
The audit logs in one Florida precinct with several hundred registered voters indicated that not a single one of them had voted.
In a California demonstration put on by one of the machine manufacturers this month, votes on the Spanish-language ballots simply failed to register.