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Feb 06

Elections and technology don’t mix

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 196 views

I run elections, and the buzzword in my election field is e-voting. Why? Well its a pain in the arse counting pieces of paper for one. Secondly, voting is traditionally going down so the mantra goes, anything which makes voting easier is a good thing. (Why they don’t just do the voting on a more convenient day puzzles me). However what has always seemed to be a major driver for the uptake electronic voting, or vote/count machines are THE COMPANIES THAT MAKE THEM. Well buff my arse and make it look like two cast members of the Martian Chronicles. They would wouldn’t they.

What is more worrying is the actual lack of reliability of such machines, plus the hackability. Just look at this wonderful cautionary tale currently being ignored in the world centre for electoral “reform” Florida. What is more than a tad worrying is when the president of the company that manufactures the voting machines says he’d “do everything in my power to ensure the return of George Bush to the White House”. Like fix the count?

Personally I think the paper and ballot box system really can’t be beat. Mainly because the transparency inherent in the process makes it so much harder to cheat. Piles of paper are visible, stewardship of the actual ballot papers is out in the open. Even down to the poorly paid lackeys doing the counting – people who are drawn from such disparate backgrounds that their very jobsworthiness acts as a fantastic check on the system. Perhaps democracy is not the best system, or the best way of choosing a government: but if you are going to subscribe to it, then you better be bloody sure you are doing it properly.

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