Friday, February 13, 2004

Saving Democracy

Amid all the Chicken Little moaning and groaning about electronic voting, there's at least one voice crying in the wilderness. The very "wilderness" of the San Jose Mercury, that is, where tech columnist Mike Langberg today pointed out that it was the opponents of change who posed a threat to electronic voting, and not electronic voting which posed a threat to democracy.

Amid all the Cassandra-like rantings about hackers breaking into electronic voting machines and the need for a paper trail, Langberg rightly points out: "Few politicians have enough computer smarts to alter electronic voting machine software; it would be much easier to run off a handful of phony paper ballots, blame the resulting mismatch on faulty computers and get legitimate votes thrown in the trash."

Full marks to this man who demands that we stop the breast-beating and ask, "Will electronic systems, when implemented with a reasonable degree of caution, be more secure than what we've got now?"
The only true answer is, "yes."

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