Voting Machines And Election Risk

I have written about this topic before, and it bears some more discussion no matter how the elections today turn out.

Voting machines that do not produce a paper trail, and do not have their software and hardware reviewed by independent experts, are a menace to our country.

There have been numerous anecdotes during this election day of electronic voting machines not recording votes properly. As I have said before, any voting machine that is not subject to formal, independent inspection of the source code, and testing, should not be used for a public election in any way.

No voting machine should be connected to a network while being used operationally. The risk of an external connection being used to penetrate the machine during voting is just too high. I could understand connecting to the machine at the conclusion of voting to download results using a laptop or other handheld device under the control of an elections official. A truly local LAN being used would be OK as well, just don’t have any external telecom connections.

Any voting should have a paper or other nonvolatile backup. The system we use in Oklahoma is a good example here; a paper ballot that is electronically scanned and counted; the paper ballot is retained and can be used as an audit.

Machines should be owned by the local election board or equivalent. If maintenance needs to be performed, then the people doing it need to be essentially “cleared”, then the machine checked by an independent expert again.

Paperless elections are right out. If a mostly-paperless solution is insisted on (like touchscreen voting), then a paper receipt must be provided to the voter.

Laws should be promulgated to ensure these safeguards are in place all across the nations. The security of our national, state, and local elections demand no less.

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One Response to “Voting Machines And Election Risk”

  1. To, Says:

    Amen, brother!

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