Tuesday, March 02, 2004

In defense of computers

Lot's of reaction to my column, Rock the 'Net vote, in last week's Network World and most of it came from the chicken littles. The best line, I think, was:

"Finally, I think most people in this country should be a little bit offended by your comment on ballot box stuffing. In my neck of the woods, the rule of law is sufficiently established that the public trusts that a ballot box that is sealed at the polling place and transported to election headquarters by an election official and a police officer will not be tampered with en-route. Nor is it likely that any observers who wish would be prevented from watching these ballot boxes at either the polling place or election headquarters."

And this was by someone in Massachusetts, a state in which elections were routinely stolen into the second half of the twentieth century (if not later)!

Computerized voting machines are not 100% secure nor are they 100% reliable but I've watched elections for 40 years and I stand by what I said in the column, "The bottom line is that computerized voting machines - even those running Microsoft operating systems - are more secure and more reliable than any other 'secret ballot' vote tabulation method we've used in the past," and that's the only standard that should be applied.

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