I haven’t banged the “electronic voting machine” drum lately, but elections are coming and it calls for scrutiny. This video (9:28) demonstrates a simple vote stealing scenario.
I honestly believe that ballotless electronic voting machines threaten the very bedrock that this nation is founded on. Not because they’ll be tampered with. Because we’ll always wonder if they were tampered with. This wondering will shake the faith of everyone, in this nation and out.
Here’s what I wrote in May of 2004 (naughty word warning):
The problem with electronic voting, especially electronic voting without a paper trail, is not that it’s insecure. I imagine, after some work, it can be made pretty tight. The problem is that we will always suspect that it’s insecure. No patches, no service packs, no little paper receipt will ever change our distrust of the machines.
“We don’t want to return to a less accurate, less accessible paper ballot system,” said Mischelle Townsend, registrar of voters for Riverside County. “It invites further complications in terms of poll-worker training and voter education.”
I’ll take those complications over loss of trust in our elections, thank-you very much. I don’t care if it takes a week to count the damn ballots. I want the ballots to contain the votes that the citizens intended to cast, and I want to know that they haven’t been fucked with.
Voting and electing government officials is FUNDAMENTAL to the American way of life. There can be no doubt about an election’s validity. If we feel doubt, our way of life is threatened. If it isn’t gone already.
I don’t think I’m overstating this. Electronic voting threatens to damage this country more than any war or scandal or recession could. Our nation, our system, can weather storms like Vietnam or Watergate or the Depression. Loss of faith in our elections, and by extension the winners of those elections, isn’t a tempest to be waited out. It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It doesn’t matter if no one ever hacks one of these things. We’ll always be afraid that someone will. We’ll always wonder if someone did.