E-Voting and Trust in Democracy

Joho the Blog: Paperless democracy's test reads Ed Cone, and gets right to the meat of the one of the key issues:

Ed Cone writes about what conclusions to draw from the fact that Maryland's use of electronic voting machines on Tuesday seemed to go well: “'Election officials will think that this validates the system, that now we can all see that it works just fine – but that's not the case,' says Michael Wertheimer, a systems-security consultant…”

My favorite bit:

A sampling of voters at Lutherville, Md., on Super Tuesday showed that the systems worked well on the surface. “The machine was easy to use,” says Charlie Mitchell, 49. “The only thing I wondered about was what I had read about these machines – were the votes getting counted or not? I don't know.”

Oh, I see. Let me paraphrase: “The system worked perfectly and I was very happy with it, except for the gnawing fear that it disenfranchised me of my most basic right as a citizen.”

Of course the other key issue is that there really are serious reasons to doubt the machines are sufficiently hard to hack…

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