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Voting Machines Should Be as Secure as Slot Machines

CowboyRobot (671517) writes | about a year and a half ago

Government 2

CowboyRobot writes "The problems with elections in the U.S. are well-known, yet we seem to need reminding every four years about how bad it's getting.
Howard Marks at NetworkComputing has an essay, pointing out exactly what we need for reliable, accurate voting:
"A valid audit trail, such as a printed ballot the voter can verify; A mechanism for recounting the printed ballots on a machine made by another vendor so the results can be compared; and An audit of the software by an independent third party to insure that the software accurately records and tabulates the voter's true intent."
He then looks at his own experience working with casinos, who would never tolerate the kinds of problems voting machines have. So why not take a lesson from gaming machines and build voting machines the same way?
"The slot machine industry is several times bigger, and significantly more competitive, than the voting machine industry. If IGT, Bally's and Aristocrat can compete for the slot market, then Diebold and Election Systems and Software can stand the same level of scrutiny.""

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2 comments

paper ballots are the only way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41900007)

"Reflections on Trusting Trust", Volume 27, Issue 8, of the Communications of the ACM, August 1984: http://dl.acm.org/ft_gateway.cfm?id=358210 [acm.org] [acm.org]

Your right! (1)

uslurper (459546) | about a year and a half ago | (#41904067)

Voting machines should work the same way slot machines do: By paying out exactly as the casino owners program them to!

Seriously, check out "Electorial Dysfunction" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3QGtIrLIpk [youtube.com]
Toward the end there is a good description of the varied and archaic voting systems that are in use in different states.
BTW I fully agree on these points:
"A valid audit trail, such as a printed ballot the voter can verify; A mechanism for recounting the printed ballots on a machine made by another vendor so the results can be compared; and An audit of the software by an independent third party to insure that the software accurately records and tabulates the voter's true intent."

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