two cents

The diebold mess, and a humble suggestion.


More reports on election fraud and failings of diebold electronic voting machines.

To me, the failings of the technology is only partially at fault. The process is also at fault. I admittedly don't know exactly how these things work, and each district has their own methods, but an effective process to me seems simple:

1) Station 1 - voter confirmation. At station 1, you swipe your drivers license, confirm you're in the right place, and it spits out an official ballot (special paper that is either watermarked or stamped and kept secret to avoid fraud).

1b) if not found, or if voter has no license, voter goes to an election official who confirms they are eligible to vote in this location.

2) Station 2 - electronic voting machine, as secure as an ATM. (Banks dont have this problem with fraud, do they?) Voter puts their official ballot into the machine at station 2 and votes electronically with an on-screen confirmation. It spits the vote out onto the ballot you put in. Voter reviews and confirms that their vote is as intended, and places that vote into a ballot box (this process is carefully monitored by election officials).

3) Counting machine. Election officials run these ballots through a counting machine to double check the numbers. Not as part of a recount, as part of the confirmation process. Also could confirm that the ballot is valid.

4) Hand count if necessary. Election officials can hand count the ballots to triple check the numbers if a recount is needed, or for overachieving states as part of the process.

Use the technology where appropriate, double-count, generate an accurate paper trail and employ intense security measures. They need to get this right. To me, this is as serious as almost any government function. Democracy is at risk.

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