Electronic Voting and Paper Trails

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Daily news and commentary by: Whymrhymer at the Blogger News Network

Remember, just before the elections, all the newspaper and television news about how electronic voting machines can be “rigged” to change votes and there would be no paper trail to prove it happened?

Well the election is over and the Democrats definitely won but, with all those electronic voting machines in use how can they prove that they really won honestly?

(Not that the Democrats are being challenged! It seems that when Democrats win the Republicans go into an introspection mode to figure out why they lost but when the Democrats loose the allegations of cheating and other types of underhanded conduct are flying all over the media. I guess in that respect we can all be glad the Democrats won.)

Beyond the accusations (or lack of same) the fact remains that the pre-election worries about possible electronic vote fixing were not ungrounded. Voting machines CAN be tampered with and without some back-up form of vote counting no one would be aware of it. Even today there are stories about “missing votes,” possibly due to voting machine ‘glitches’. Electronic voting machines are still basically computers with electronic circuitry and, as everyone who is able to read this will readily agree, even the best computers occasionally have problems.

If we can’t be confident that our votes are being counted correctly we can hardly be convinced that the results of an election reflected the will of the majority and without that trust in the vote count there is that much less trust in government. (There is little enough trust as it is, government can’t afford even less!)

Every form of voting should have a backup that can validate the accuracy of the vote. Electronic voting machines need a paper backup and paper ballots can easily have an electronic backup through scanning technology. This needs to happen in every state well before November, 2008.

Links:

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Updates must ensure voting integrity

Asbury Park Press: Start leaving paper trail

From the blogosphere:

Not-A-Pundit: The Renaissance: US Rep. Urges Congress To OK Electronic Voting Paper Trail

Democratic Talk Radio Blog: 18,000 votes in U.S. House race may be lost

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