Tuesday :: Nov 4, 2003

Modifying Software Six Ways to Sunday Without Certification: CA Voting Machine Certification Delayed

by paradox

Posted by paradox

Diebold certification for California electronic voting machines has been delayed. There is no way to empirically demonstrate the machines count votes and somebody finally got the message, if only to delay, not terminate.

In Houston today Democracy got a vicious kick in the nuts as voting officals completely blew it--the electronic machines are failing and votes are being submitted in a completely unauthorized and shoddy paper mechanism.

This little gem came out of the new implementation plans for Santa Clara County (Sequoia Voting Systems): "But they plan to have a paper ballot backup system in case there are glitches."

Oh? What backup system would that be? Is it certified? Does it actually work? If the machines are so perfect, why the caution for a backup?

If a paper backup is necessary, why not just design the machines to spit out encrypted verification? Very easy to do--if you care about counting votes.

Unfortunately the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is as clueless on this issue as George Bush is about telling the truth, for they dismissed a voting machine lawsuit October 29th: "But in dismissing the case, Rymer wrote that ``electoral fraud can never be completely eliminated no matter which type of ballot is used.''

Lord above, the freaking issue is not that fraud can ever be completely eliminated. The issue is that with the new machines it's impossible to know if any fraud was ever committed!

Voter fraud? In Amerika? Would never happen, there's no need to wonder if it ever might. Becuase we'll never be able to find out.

What great minds have wieghed this issue in our various public spheres. What great contributions to knowledge and wisdom they've contributed for us all.

It's long, long past the time to wonder if these machines are an utter, extremely dangerous failure. They manifestly are. The issue is not that they may or may not perform correctly. When huge portions of the population has lost confidence and faith in the machines the game is simply over. Citizens just don't accept the results.

Failure. The machines are a complete failure not because of their alleged performance but because of their terrible ability to engender faith. The sooner that's clear to doofuses like the fools on the 9th circuit the better.

paradox :: 10:16 AM :: Comments (12) :: Digg It!