October 6, 2005
-- by Dave Johnson
Even though they were used to tabulate a third of the votes in last year's presidential run, nearly all electronic voting machines in use today remain black boxes without external methods of verifying that the results have not been altered or sabotaged.Think about what is at stake in our elections. ALL THE POWER AND MONEY IN THE WORLD AND ALL OF OUR LIVES. So, are the stakes high enough to encourage people with sophisticated resources to try to cheat? Is there any question about it?
Possible threats to an accurate electronic vote tally are legion. They include everything from worms and viruses infecting Microsoft Windows-equipped systems to equipment tampering, code alteration and ballot box stuffing...
In principle, there should be an easy solution: Require that e-voting machines include what's known as a voter-verifiable paper trail. That would permit a voter to review a physical printout with his or her selections--perhaps under glass so the receipt can't be removed--which would also provide a way to perform a manual recount, if necessary.
But a complicated mix of partisan politics and the relative paucity of voter-verifiable products available today has delayed the switch to improved technology, according to election experts interviewed by CNET News.com.
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"Paper trails" are meaningless. What is required is a PAPER BALLOT. There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON AT ALL to have "paper trails under glass". What is required are PAPER BALLOTS in full view. Anyone who talks about "paper trails" is an election thief. ONLY PAPER BALLOTS are secure, because ONLY PAPER BALLOTS have a defined legal significance.
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