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Reply #47: Popular Science: What You Need to Know About Voting Machines [View All]

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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
47. Popular Science: What You Need to Know About Voting Machines
After several centuries of casting and counting ballots, its shocking that we still havent mastered what seems to be a simple task. But anyone who lived through the 2000 presidential election, in which a mishmash of flawed voting machines, contradictory county procedures, and unclear state laws in Florida led to the least reliable outcome in history, knows that 21st century voting is no better than the era when we shouted out our votes at the courthouse steps. After 2000, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was passed by Congress to help rid us of hanging chads and stolen ballots by subsidizing e-voting machines. But, it turns out, the 50,000 e-machines turned out to be even more of a headache than the chads, with widespread reports of crashes, lost votes, flipped votes, and even hacking. Voting and vote counting since then has been more than a little bit interesting.

After almost of decade of voting reform and increased scrutiny, have we come far enough in safeguarding the vote? The answer is a resounding question mark. Though the real answer will come on November 4, many parts of the country have made great strides to fix the problems caused by electronic voting machines. The great solution? Send the machines to the dump. According to CBS news, just one-third of Americans will vote on electronic machines. Fifty-five percent of the electorate will rely on a relatively old technology, optical scan machines, which leave a paper trail.

In fact, the states with the biggest voting headachesFlorida, where e-machines dropped 15 percent of the Sarasota vote several years ago, and Ohio, the e-voting problem child of 2004have made the biggest steps back. Last year, the Sunshine state unplugged 30,000 touch screen e-voting machines in favor of optical scanners with a recountable paper trail. In Ohio, where questions about touch-screen voting set off investigations after the 2004 election, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner reviewed the states entire voting system and forced its largest counties to abandon e-voting. This year, she has printed enough paper ballots to allow voting to continue if there are any glitches or irregularities with the machines. Other states that have devolved from e-voting to paper include California, where all but three counties now use optical scan machines, Iowa, which replaced its machines in April, and New Mexico which is now all paper.

More:
http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2008-10/what-you-...
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