Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, July 28, 2004 9:10 pm

You’re not paranoid if they’re really out to get you, or, “Florida is heading toward being the next Florida”

Filed under: Black-box voting — Lex @ 9:10 pm

A lot of very well-meaning people think we don’t need and/or can’t afford voter-verified paper ballots as part of electronic voting machines.

A lot of very well-meaning people are flat wrong:

MIAMI, July 27 – Almost all the electronic records from the first widespread use of touch-screen voting in Miami-Dade County have been lost, stoking concerns that the machines are unreliable as the presidential election draws near.The records disappeared after two computer system crashes last year, county elections officials said, leaving no audit trail for the 2002 gubernatorial primary. A citizens group uncovered the loss this month after requesting all audit data from that election.

A county official said a new backup system would prevent electronic voting data from being lost in the future. But members of the citizens group, the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition, said the malfunction underscored the vulnerability of electronic voting records and wiped out data that might have shed light on what problems, if any, still existed with touch-screen machines here. The group supplied the results of its request to The New York Times.

“This shows that unless we do something now – or it may very well be too late – Florida is headed toward being the next Florida,” said Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, a lawyer who is the chairwoman of the coalition.

Remember, the goal here is not necessarily to prevent fraud (although VVPBs will make it harder, for sure), but to create an auditing system so strong that any fraud inevitably will be discovered. Congress and your state legislature will have to act to make that happen. For more information, go here. To join in an online letter-generating campaign (which I don’t endorse; I think personal letters are more effective), go here.

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