Voting Rights Forum Participant
Post Number: 43
Best of Black Box? N/A
Votes: 0 (A keeper?)
|Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 4:48 am: ||
We should be on the look out for a new and improved techno solution to be recommended by the combined efforts of those scientific think tanks which are working to devise a more secure voting system, such as -- ACCURATE, the National Community For Voting Integrity and the Electronic Privacy Information Center -- to replace the old one we now have. (Wouldn't you know it, many of the same scientists are associated with all three think tanks. ACCURATE received a $7 million grant from the government to conduct their research on upgrading voting technology.)
Therefore, it seems only logical to assume that a techno solution must be presented soon because (1) to counter Dennis Kucinich's new bill -- HR 6200 -- which would require all 50 states to conduct all hand counts in the 2008 election. Should this bill pass (it has 19 co-sponsors), it could very well convince the American people what a growing consensus of us already know -- hands counts really are a better, simpler, more cost-effective way in protecting the integrity of our votes and, UH-HEM, the survival of our republic as it was originally intended and (2) even if the bill doesn't pass, another election cycle with the continued abysmal failure of the voting systems presently in place would not be well-received by the American public nor put them in the mood to spend money on "more technology".
Furthermore, if politicians and election officials are persuaded by these scientific think tanks to implement their new techno solution, this is going to cost taxpayers...well...billions more than has already been wasted on voting machine technology. But this isn't about money and power, right? It's only about secure and accurate elections and our willingness to trust the scientific community to get it right this time. Could anyone tell me why we should? Would citizens hand counting their own ballots threaten some hidden agenda that may not be in our best interests? There's got to be a better reason for this visceral distaste by the establishment for hand counts than they are more vulnerable to fraud and take too long.
Following is a snippet from a study done by the Electronic Privacy Information Center - "epic.org" - setting the stage for making us more amendable to their recommendations. Note that this study was released in September 2006 and was reposted on VoteTrustUSA's website yesterday:
With Some Electronic Voting Systems, Not All Votes Count
By: Electronic Privacy Information Center
...Critics of voter-verified paper records have cited the increased costs, problems with printers jamming, and the possibility of violating ballot secrecy. However, Dr. David Chaum, a cryptographer and the founder of DigiCash, has suggested using encryption to ensure the secrecy of voter-verified paper records. Dr. Chaum explains that, with encrypted voter receipts, 'In the voting booth, the voter can see his or her choices clearly printed on the receipt. After taking it out of the booth, the voter can use it to ensure that the votes it contains are included correctly in the final tally. But, because the choices are safely encrypted before it is removed from the booth, the receipt cannot be used to show others how the voter voted.' In this way, voters could be sure the results of the election are accurate.
Fundamentally, the problem with the rapid switch to electronic voting systems is the infrequent nature of public elections. They are conducted in most jurisdictions once or twice a year, and the learning curve for the systems is frustrated by this fact. With frequent use, vulnerabilities are discovered in new technologies, and they can be addressed in next-generation models.
Local and state governments are now attempting to address the multitude of problems concerning the security and privacy of such systems. It is too late to make changes for this election, but as we move forward in preparing for future elections, local, state and federal elections officials should look to the recommendations of the National Committee for Voting Integrity, Brennan Center, Princeton University, and Dr. Chaum to help solve these problems. Elections officials should continue to work to ensure the integrity of the secret ballot, so they can ensure that every vote counts...
Link to entire article:
As George Bush painfully attempted to say once: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
(Message edited by wynnek on November 15, 2006)