Monday, July 19, 2004

Opposition Grows to Paperless Voting

Opposition Grows to Paperless Voting:
"Voters took to the streets in 19 states last week to protest paperless electronic voting machines. In the coast-to-coast 'Computer Ate My Vote' rallies, citizens showed what activists say could become widespread dissent against nonverifiable ballots if this year's presidential election becomes another close call.

The crowds mobilized last week were not Luddites looking to thwart progress; most were civil rights advocates and technology professionals, including computer scientists from some of the country's most prestigious institutions. Their concern is that the rush to make voting more user-friendly has made the process less secure and reliable.

The growing movement to secure election paper trails has captured the attention of lawmakers and policy-makers. Congress is belatedly holding hearings this month on VVPAT (voter-verifiable paper audit trail) legislation that has been pending for more than a year. While it is almost certainly too late to make changes for this year's election, momentum is surging to ensure that voters will have VVPAT options by the 2006 elections."

The main problem with paperless, touch-screen voting machines (also called direct recording election, or DRE, machines), computer scientists say, is that there is no way to conduct a recount. Even if some of the machines had not been found in recent analyses to be vulnerable to simple attacks—as the AccuVote-TS Ballot Station made by Diebold Inc., based in North Canton, Ohio, was found to be last summer—there is no way, without a verifiable paper ballot, to ensure votes are recorded accurately.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1624631,00.asp?kc=ewnws071904dtx1k0000599
con·cept: Opposition Grows to Paperless Voting