Friday, January 25, 2008

Tech.view | Hacking the vote |
"Bruce Schneier, a blogger on security technology, argues that the failure of electronic voting stems from the way technology invariably increases the number of steps in any process—with each step bringing yet more scope for errors.

Optical scanners, for instance, have twice as many steps as manual counting, making them at least twice as unreliable. First, the voter reads the ballot paper and fills in the ovals, the optical reader senses the blackened ovals, the scanner passes the vote to a tabulator, the tabulator collects all votes from that machine and then transmits the score to a central totaliser. Each step can have an error of a percentage point or two, giving the system as a whole something like a 5% error. That means one in 20 people using a DRE machine will have his or her vote counted incorrectly."

The article also mentions the New Hampshire primary where 80% of the vote relied on optical scanners and coincidentally had the exact reverse percentage for Obama and Clinton of the votes counted by hand, a HUGE red flag. Stupidly, Newsweek chided Kucinich, who got 2% of the vote, for suing for a recount under the mistaken assumption that Kucinich thought he would benefit from the recount. I guess it never occurred to Newsweek that someone would sue for a principal rather than personal gain. Remember the groundswell of support for Obama following Iowa? And he had a clear lead in the polls in NH. Then the stunning comeback by Clinton. Or was it? I don't think the Clinton campaign was guilty of fraud in this case. But someone wants her to win the nomination very badly. And I think those very same people are kind of leery of Obama. And I think there was some very serious voting fraud perpetrated in NH. And nobody cares, and nobody is going to do anything about it.

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