Saturday, October 23, 2004

e-voting e-hubris

On November 2, hundreds of thousands of Americans will step into electronic voting booths, many of them for the first time. They'll likely be confronted with a touch screen that steps them through the local and national candidates, as well as the local propositions that are usually stuffed onto the ballot.

This is not, as we all know, just any election year. We're choosing our next president—the incumbent or a new one. As a result, the performance of these electronic voting systems will be watched with keen eyes and worried minds. Will they be accurate? Are they secure? Can you have such a thing as a virtual hanging chad? My gut tells me that these systems will work flawlessly next month, but the concern is well founded.

An exhaustive 2003 report from the Johns Hopkins University (Analysis of an Electronic Voting System, July 23, 2003 [avirubin.com/vote.pdf]) outlines more than half a dozen key ways in which the security, accuracy, and overall functionality of an electronic voting system—a Diebold AccuVote-TS, to be precise—could be compromised.

ABC News - PC Magazine - October 13, 2004
Is E-Voting Fundamentally Flawed?
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