Thursday, November 08, 2007

The E-Voting Scam

Just when you thought I was never going to write about anything except torture, here I am, back on the subject of electronic voting.

Just read an interesting piece by "looseheadprop" at firedoglake on e-voting in New York, which includes this:

Remember HAVA? The totally misnamed, designed to do the opposite, “Help America to Vote Act”? It was passed in the wake of the 2000 hanging chad scandal. It appeared to have some laudable goals, such as forcing the states to make the voting experience handicapped accessible, and provided money to the states to “update” their voting systems to comply with its requirements. Coming from the Administartion that LUVS unfunded mandates, it sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it?

And by now you know why. It was yet another con, a really dangerous con if you believe in voting.

There's some great additional analysis. I recommend it.

While I'm on the subject, I should point out that the city of San Francisco is all agog over the fact that they have to hand-count all the results of Tuesday's mayoral election, and might not know the results for two to three weeks? It seems California's top elections official, Secretary of State Debra Bowen, ruled that although the City could use its electronic voting machines, they would have to hand-verify all the results, which will be a long and expensive process. On the plus side, the City is suing the manufacturer of the machines.

This is a story that is repeating itself in various ways, all over the country. At least Bowen is trying to ensure that the votes are counted properly, which is what really matters. It's a shame that it's such a costly process, but it is important to get it right.

I have no problem with the fact that it takes a long time to count the votes. It's a shame that the process is made less efficient by the very technology that was supposed to streamline things. But the goal of accurate vote counts is more important than the expense.

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