Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Forward to the Past

I'm anything but a Luddite. In fact, my idea of a fun afternoon is visiting a computer store and salivating over all the goodies I can't afford right now. If a regular activity can be computerized, like shopping, paying bills, listening to music, I'll do it.

I do, however, make one exception: voting. I've never really trusted the mechanical voting machines I've used in New York City and the Philly area, and I remember one incident in the city of Philadelphia where there was an extremely suspicious breakdown of hundreds of voting machines, almost entirely in black and liberal areas.

Using computers as voting machines, however, is simply an open invitation for massive vote fraud. Do you realize how easy it would be to, say, hack a machine to make every 3rd Democratic vote a Republican vote, or vice versa?

Lynn Landes at Democratic Underground tells a cautionary tale about computer voting involving none other than Theresa LePore, the "Democrat" responsible for the Palm Beach County travesty in Election 2000. Unlike me, Landes does endorse a computerized system that has paper ballot backups, but frankly I don't see the point.

Why not just return to paper ballots? No voting system today appears as secure and accurate as the old-fashioned making an "X" next to a candidate's name and sliding the ballot into a box.

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