"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse
A growing number of legislators across the country are questioning the reliability of touch-screen e-vote machines, according to a recent AP article. With ongoing crashes, security holes, and no back-up record of votes, people are beginning to realize that the machines cannot be trusted to manage the upcoming presidential election.
On Thursday, a key California panel unanimously recommended banning a popular Diebold Inc. paperless touchscreen model — a move that could force Diebold and other manufacturers to overhaul their business practices nationwide. Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, who said Diebold glitches "jeopardized the outcome" of the March 2 primary, has until April 30 to decide whether to decertify Diebold and possibly other touchscreen terminals in California.Indeed, allowing a private company - and one's who's CEO is a strong GOP backer - to handle our votes seems a bit foolish. Accordingly many are calling for an open-source voting system.
The head of a newly created federal agency charged with overseeing electronic voting called Diebold's problems "deeply troubling."
"Open source is the only way to build robust systems that people can believe in," said Ed Cherlin, a Silicon Valley engineer with the nonprofit Open Voting Consortium.Wired has a similar article noting that California's Voting Systems and Procedures Panel has recommended that the state attorney general investigate claims that Diebold has violated state election laws by installing uncertified software on its voting systems.
The consortium's prototype relies on familiar desktop PCs and produces paper versions of every ballot cast, which can be reviewed by voters at the polls and then stored in county lock boxes. The operating system is Linux (news - web sites) — not Microsoft Windows, which most voting terminals rely on.
"Electronic voting in its current form is like hiring a private company to count votes behind closed doors," said Stanford University professor David Dill, who publishes a Web site called Verified Voting.
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