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Reply #139: sure, although the premise of your question may be "off" [View All]

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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-05 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #133
139. sure, although the premise of your question may be "off"
I've worked on a system to manage data from clinical drug trials. One of the players in that field features Web-based data entry, and a big selling point is that electronic auditing is easy and there is less need to "shuffle paper." That has been the big selling point for DREs with respect to election boards, too: with a digital virtual ballot, who needs those nasty paper things? The absence of a paper trail is, from one standpoint, a huge benefit. (And, after all, the paper does create its own massive, distributed tracking and security problem. Conceptually, paper is easy, but logistically paper is kinda hard. Plenty of elections have been stolen on paper.)

So, am I defending paperless DREs? Naw, I think they suck. Do I regard their existence as evidence of a conspiracy to steal elections? Nope. Could they be used to steal elections regardless of the intent of the designers? Sure. Were they used to steal the 2004 election? Well, I've seen no evidence that they plausibly could have swung or suppressed or added enough votes to alter the result in the popular vote or in any state. Could the 2004 election have been stolen in part through DRE fraud? I can't rule it out. Should we insist on voter-verifiable paper ballots? Heck, yes. The paperless office was merely a dumb fantasy, but the paperless election is a dangerous one.
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