DREs : "...it maybe the last time you will use them."
"Economic Choices 2008" - Paper Vs. Electronic
Monday, November 03, 2008
SUSIE GHARIB: At one time they were undisputed front runners, a sure bet for Election Day victory. We're not talking about candidates. We're talking about those electronic voting machines many of you will use tomorrow. But it maybe the last time you will use them. Darren Gersh continues our economic choices coverage with a look at how hopes for big dollars in the voting booth ended up losing the race.
ROKEY SULEMAN, GENERAL REGISTRAR, FAIRFAX COUNTY: The process to get a machine certified through the Federal government and then down through the state government is very long and burdensome. So there's not a lot of development time to get this equipment out. And then by the time it goes through the government channels, there's not enough market to sell the machines. So I think the companies gave up on electronic voting at the same time.
GERSH: Virginia isn't the only state going back to paper. After three decades of steady growth, 10 million fewer ballots will be cast using electronic voting equipment this election. And nationwide, six out of 10 counties will be using optical scan systems to count paper ballots tomorrow. Doug Chapin cautions counties are trading one imperfect system for another.
CHAPIN: Things can go wrong regardless of whether you're using a touch screen machine or a paper ballot or an optical scan ballot. There are just different things that can go wrong.
3. The same people make your ATM machines at the bank. DREs *could* work, IF they were honest
The problem, as we have seen, is that the touch screen voting machines by Diebold, Sequoia, et al., were never designed by honest people in the first place. The so-called "glitches" are intentional, it's incredibly easy to code so that votes can be flipped, the source-code is secret, the machines are easily hacked-- in other words, the entire system is designed to be dishonest in a thousand ways. There are any number of perps who ought to be in prison as we speak.
ATMs work well, you get a verifiable receipt, and neither banks nor customers would tolerate so-called "glitches" for a second.
But I agree completely that the entire fleet of electronic vote-theft machines ought to be dismantled and thrown into Boston Harbor, or the ash-heap of history, whichever is closer. Paper ballots marked by hand will do, thank you very much.
5. With ATMs you also get a unique transaction number linking you, the bank, and whoever
--gets the number. ATM glitches do happen, but they don't matter because you have a lot of time to fix them.
Also, DREs will never work well because there can never be enough real world testing for them. ATMs work because they are used billions of times a day, 24/7, 365 days of the year. When that happens, all the bugs that turn up that matter to users get fixed over time. We only vote a couple of times a year. If we never drove cars except for two days out of a year, cars would suck pretty badly too.
See also today's thread discussing how DREs dramatically slow the actual process of voting. This is inevitable when you tie the rapid step of tabulation to the slow step of voting. No conceivable DRE design can get around this problem.
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