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E-voting Trials and Tribulations 286

Alex Susor writes "This article is about the new digital touch screen voting system in Georgia, the first state in the nation to adopt this method of voting statewide. Demonstration machines were set up at the recent primaries to teach voters about the new system (to be in place for the November general election) and had some big problems." Compare and contrast to systems in Florida and Germany.
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E-voting Trials and Tribulations

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  • Couldn't You Just (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    See the smudges from other people's fingerprints?
  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Friday August 23, 2002 @04:20PM (#4129368) Homepage Journal
    you should really first develop a paper system that nobody challanges to not work properly, it's not that hard. power shortage and s*** is bound to happen somewhere even with ups. + the (illusion) of real privacy goes straight out of the window.
    • It's not that hard to put a hard copy audit log in this system. Put a printer inside the voting machine, preferably in a sealed tamper-proof compartment. Then print a record of each vote onto a roll like cash register tape. There you go. No problemo if the power goes out.

      Now the question is, were they smart enough to build a basic safety measure like this into the system? The article doesn't say. The manufacturer is Diebold, who've been making ATMs for 30 years, so I'd expect them to have some expertise in secure embedded systems and data integrity. Still, that makes the choice of Windows even more strange.
  • by conner_bw ( 120497 ) on Friday August 23, 2002 @04:20PM (#4129369) Journal
    1) Be wealthy.

    2) Wear a fat man's coat containing 1 blanket, 1 laptop, and 1 custom made USB rubber finger. (if you already are a fat man, wear a fatter man's coat)

    3) Place USB rubber finger on winning vote, cover touch-screen with blanket, install laptop with fake voting interface that activates rubber finer for every click...

    Ahh, never mind.
  • by aseh ( 310939 ) on Friday August 23, 2002 @04:20PM (#4129371)
    As long as there is a talking paperclip at the bottom of the screen to help people out, I think everything will go smoothly.
    • by GuyMannDude ( 574364 ) on Friday August 23, 2002 @05:01PM (#4129744) Journal

      Clippy: "It looks like you're voting for President!

      (wiggles paperclip tail and bounces around the screen excitedly)

      I can just see some old geezer going ape-shit when that starts to happen. "Someone is spying on my vote!"


      • Maybe not an obnoxious Clippy offering to "help" someone vote for President but just information buttons.

        Not sure about an intiative? Click here to the entire text of it along with submitted Pro/Con statements.

        Who are these candidates? Click here to view statements from their campaigns.

        I don't see any reasons why the electronic voting machines shouldn't be able to include *already existing* information from the voter's guide.
  • this was an interesting quote: In Fulton, poll workers also reported the machines mysteriously switching from demonstration mode to election mode, Champion said. But state election officials and the company that makes the machines, Diebold Election Systems of Ohio, said that's virtually impossible and instead suggest untrained workers were to blame.
  • Until advertising is sold on the kiosks..

    until pop under ads for the X10 camera appear

    never ending pornsite loops to entertain grandma (since young adults don't vote.. I know.. I waited in line to vote last november, and was saddened by the turnout.. I was the only one under 40 it seemed)
  • Chris Riggall, a spokesman for the secretary of state's office, attributed the problems to errors by poll workers, a glitch in the Windows operating system that runs the machines and problems with electronic cards that replace paper ballots and ballot boxes. [emphasis mine]
    Something just doesn't seem right about trusting election outcomes on a company that recently decided to play politics through large brib^h^h^h^hdonations.
  • by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Friday August 23, 2002 @04:22PM (#4129391) Homepage Journal
    I don't want to leave my house. Why can't I vote over the internet?

    Just mail me my username/password, i'll go to whatever website you want me to go to and vote. I'm sure 1/2 the /. population agree's with me. Are you listening politicians?
    • That'd work real fine until someone;

      A - Hacks the voting server
      B - DDOSs the voting server
      C - Man-in-the-middle attacks the voting server
      D - ???? There have to be a ton more security problems with this.

      Identity verification would be a bit of a problem too. No way short of mailing out the information short of a courier who verifies identity of the person he hands it to to ensure that someone doesn't simply steal usernames/passwords from all their neighbors mailboxes. At an actual polling place, they can at least compare your photo ID to your voter registration card, etc..
      • There are also non-technical reasons for going to polling places to vote.

        If all the voting happens in a public place with poll watchers from all parties, then it's harder for someone to lean over a voter and pressure him/her. That's also the reason for the rules restricting who's allowed to accompany a voter and "help" with the voting process.
    • Actually, I think its the politicians who count on most people staying home.

      They target a few specific groups, make them promises and lather them into a frenzy, and then provide special transportation for their constituents.

      The more effort needed, the fewer who show up. And if said politician has targeted at those few who do show up, they win. Then its cigars and whores all around!
    • ok, so i see the mail man dropping off your "username/password" or worse yet it is emailed to you.

      i am running for congressman, i go in your house and hold a gun to your head... VOTE FOR ME NOW DAMN IT! DO IT! then you vote for me, and of course i shoot you anyways (you are gullible... did you really think i was going to let you go?!)

      anyways, there has to be voting places... publically monitored.
  • "Hey, Fred, what's with the 200 million write-in votes for Bill Gates?"


    • Hey, at least now Microsoft won't have to buy politicans. It can simply vote them in at no cost. Hell, the states will actually pay them for the software -- what could be better? What a great way for cash-strapped Micro$oft to save some bucks.


  • The nice thing about digital voting is that you know that there's a problem with your vote (a frozen computer screen, etc.) before you walk away from the booth. With the current system, how are you know if your chad is punched all the way? ;) Coding errors can be debugged. It's great to be able to _see_ the problem.
    • Yeah, that's unless the database gets corrupted at 10:30 PM. Do you suppose they're going to call you to revote?

      We don't need electronic voting. The troubles from this will far outnumber the hanging chad problems from last elections.

      If you aren't smart enough to punch the card all the way through and check it before you turn it in, or check that you have the circle all filled in with a number 2 pencil in the case of voting where I live, you don't need to vote.

    • With windows, I wouldn't trust it to not puke on the vote tally, 5 minutes after the voter walks away. And it could do this without even showing visible symptons.

      Should have used some kind of unix, the damn thing has a drop dead simple interface. It's not like you will want to move M$ Votenow! out of the way, so you can browse porn on the internet. What were they thinking?
  • by vkg ( 158234 ) on Friday August 23, 2002 @04:23PM (#4129408) Homepage
    has power."
    - Joeseph Stalin

    With a computer voting system, there profile of risk for election fraud changes so radically that the folks used to policing these systems will never know what hit them.

    We've already had one US election stolen by outright electoral fraud (I'll let y'all verify that Gore won from your own preferred, trustworthy news source).

    This just opens up the door for more trouble ahead.
  • by atrowe ( 209484 ) on Friday August 23, 2002 @04:23PM (#4129409)
    While computerized voting certainly sounds good to most Slashdoters, we have to realize that the majority of the populace is not as technically oriented is the average Slashdoter. Many older citizens and citizens without any computer training and experience will likely become confused by the new computerized voting devices.

    I don't mean to sound like a Luddite, but I'm not sure technology is the best solution in a situation like this. Technology is great for many uses, but for a task as simple as voting, it is much easier and more practical to simply use existing methods which have been proven by their use in the past hundreds if not thousands of years. Voters who are not computer savvy will likely become confused by the unnecessary complication of the new voting machines and many are likely to cast their ballots in error, possibly voting for a candidate they had no intention of supporting. Clearly, in a situation such as this, current paper voting mechanisims are much more accurate and reliable. Furthermore, if voting is to be computerized, we're leaving ourselves vulnerable to all sorts of hacking and digital manipulation of the ballots which otherwise would not exist. It's been said many times here before that no computer system is 100% secure, and I, for one, do not want to trust my country's elections to the likes of Microsoft of Red Hat. Paper elections are much harder, if not impossible, to tamper with.

    • Many older citizens and citizens without any computer training and experience will likely become confused by the new computerized voting devices.

      Remember Florida? THose were on paper ballots. Usually ballots have small, 8pt text on them. Compare that to an LCD screen using large fonts, help files, I think the old folks will be ok.

      Clearly, in a situation such as this, current paper voting mechanisims are much more accurate and reliable. Furthermore, if voting is to be computerized, we're leaving ourselves vulnerable to all sorts of hacking and digital manipulation of the ballots

      Well, digital you can go back and correct your mistakes. Again, lets not forget Florida's divits. As with hacking, well, ballots can be counterfieted at a crooked print shop a lot easier than most modern encryption schemes can be broken.

      I, for one, do not want to trust my country's elections to the likes of Microsoft of Red Hat.

      Who says they have to be trusted? Just use BSD problem solved!
    • Clearly, in a situation such as this, current paper voting mechanisims are much more accurate and reliable.

      IMHO the best application of technology would be to design ballot papers which can easily be counted either by machine or manually. A sorting machine could also compare ballot papers with counterfoils. If each paper has a random but unique serial number it's going to be hard for anyone to stuff the ballot and any "spoilt papers" can be eliminated.
      There are also fewer ways in which you can rig a counter-collator in the first place. It's also very easy to spot since any questions about its sorting and you count manually.
    • Voters who are not computer savvy will likely become confused by the unnecessary complication of the new voting machines and many are likely to cast their ballots in error, possibly voting for a candidate they had no intention of supporting.

      I think you're over-estimating the complexity of the system for the user.

      It's not hard: you see the candidate you want, you touch their name. Their name lights up. If you want to change your vote, you touch a different name. Once you've picked your candidate, you move on to the next page. You can change your vote later. When you want to accept the ballot, just press a last panel on the screen.

      This isn't rocket science. It's as easy as the paper ballots, if not easier.

      The reliability and accuracy of paper-based systems is what led to the mess in Florida in 2000.

      I agree with you on the hacking and digital manipulation. There are ways around this, but only if the system is well-designed. Of course, there are all sorts of ways to manipulate the system to produce a desired result, both subtle (place the candidate's name on the second page of a list of names) and gross (stuff the ballot box with 'votes' for your guy from 'voters' who are dead.) No paper system is 100% tamper proof.

    • Oh yes, the "good old days" of paper ballots. When seals on ballot boxes would be "accidentally" broken, ballot boxes would "accidentally" fall off the back of a truck into a swamp, and the county courthouse would "accidentally" burn down after the ballots had been counted and reported.
  • by leighklotz ( 192300 ) on Friday August 23, 2002 @04:23PM (#4129411) Homepage

    I wonder if it's really legal to have votes counted by a machine that has secret software inside that voters are not allowed to examine?

    Chris Riggall, a spokesman for the secretary of state's office, attributed the problems to errors by poll workers, a glitch in the Windows operating system that runs the machines ...

    Shouldn't voters in Georgia be able to file an FOI request to find out what's happening to their votes?

    • First and foremost, we have to remember that this is a government venture. What that means is that you have to lower your expections by about 60 IQ points. I theorize that it might go something like this:

      Step 1: Acquire, pay for, and install thousands of new, electronic voting machines. Ignore the obvious, like the inability to audit the manner in which votes are tallied and reported by the software.

      Step 2: Experience initial problems during a "demo day" held at some point before the election. Disregard the notion that this may very well be the beginning of a very bumby road.

      Step 3: Use the newly-acquired machines during the next election, experience more problems, and be sued by a public interest group questioning the results, and demanding a detailed audit.

      Step 4: Be dissed by the company that manufactured the machines, who claims that disclosing the process by which votes are tallied and reported would result in disclosure of proprietary trade secrets.

      Step 5: Be backed into a corner. Wonder why no one took this issue seriously during the initial planning.

      Step 6: Scrap all 19,000 voting machines, kissing the $millions they cost, goodbye. Replace them with machines from a company with a more open disclosure policy.

      Step 7: Lather, Rinse....but hopefully, avoid repeating the same sordid tale over again.
    • Riggall? A rather unfortunate name for someone involved in electronic voting...
  • Windows?? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doppler00 ( 534739 ) on Friday August 23, 2002 @04:25PM (#4129435) Homepage Journal
    I usually wouldn't bash windows but this is not the right solution for this. Why would you rely on such complexity for a system that is supposed to be simple and easy to use? Just imagine how easy it would be to break into this system and change it.

    A better solution would be to use an embedded microcontroller or other simple hardware device for each voting station and then connect that to a central database server running a much more secure operating system. I think that voting and it's integrity deserve as much mission critical attention as safety systems in an automobile. There simply shouldn't be any failure here. Relying on an OS with several millions of lines of code just to input a few votes just doesn't make any sense.
  • I don't care whether they use paper, plastic, or some newfangled electronic gizmos. :)

    What really matters is that they use Instant Runoff Voting; please see:

    The Center for Voting and Democracy [fairvote.org]

    the Instantrunoff mailing list [4irv.net]

    and the California Instant Runoff Voting Coalition [calirv.org] for an example of a good local activism site.

    P.S. You can create your own web-based IRV web surveys with DemoChoice.org [demochoice.org] (also includes free downloadable php scripts for your own site.)

  • This frightens me (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gasgesgos ( 603192 )
    so now our election system is run by microsoft, yay! now because it's closed source, couldn't microsoft run a service in the backround that changes the vote tallies? or even some of the techs working on it. techs need access to the basic parts of the system, and im sure one could change the number of votes, it has to be stored somewhere outside of the ram. if its stored in ram and the power goes out, the election's screwed. there are so many places where this can go wrong it's sad.
    • I think the point isn't that something could go wrong with an electronic voting system.

      The point is that, as past elections have shown, something already has gone wrong with the older systems and will continue to do so if those systems are kept in place.

      At the very least the attempt at a solution is better than the current problem.
      • I think if you output to paper, they can use that of a failure or recount. And with the voters name on the paper, each person could read and confirm his/hers votes before submitting. No hanging chads, but you could run out of ink. (or 2 high volume printers, easy fix)

        I think more people want to see a physical piece of paper, you could combine the 2, and solve everyones worry about rigging an election.
      • Yes but as the old addage goes. To REALLY screw something up, you need a computer.

        Computerized voting is a terrible idea. It introduces thousands of potential problems into a system that was already having problems with the simple concept of a pin and a punch card. It fixes nothing, it puts at risk everything. This is an ill conceived knee-jerk reaction to a problem thout could have easily and cheaply been fixed in place. A problem that existed in only ONE place out thousands in the US.

  • by jkusar ( 585161 )
    But what happens when all that oil builds up and blocks my keypress???
  • I don't know much about electricity, but if I have have understood touch-screens work by using resistive panels. When you touch the screen you complete an electic circuit. I quess the panel then measures the current to know what was pressed.

    Ok, if it works like this, can't you do this remotely as well, it should be rather easy make the conduct just before the real vote is given. Then just, voilâ and thank you!

    Knowing the average voter ;))) no-one will notice :)

    It would be nice to see someone with more knowledge write about his :)

  • Do you really want a man named Rigg-All to be in charge of your electronic voting?
  • by Steveftoth ( 78419 ) on Friday August 23, 2002 @04:36PM (#4129527) Homepage
    Though they blame the mistake on the Windows OS for crashing, it's stupid to believe them. Basically whomever decided to push this out there didn't test their product enough. Everyone who has used computers for any length of time realize that a closed system like this should have zero problems if properly tested no matter what the underlying software is, be it windows, linux, HP-UX, or mac.

    What does this really mean? That the voting system should go back for yet more testing. QAing software is probably the most boring part of the job, but it's also the more important. If we are to even pretend that we live in a fair society then any voting system should work and work fairly. Be it paper or computer based.

    Is America ready for a computer based system? I think a computer based system should be able to replace a paper based system. I think that possiably we should also use paper in addition to the computer system, meaning that they should actually print a reciept of your vote so that in the case of a recount, they have physical proof that you voted for (Gore and not Bush?) the person you said that you did.
    • If you read the article, you will see quite clearly that Windows is not the only thing blamed for the errors. First and foremost were the problems by the people running the polls. Apparently the ones in the county that had the most problems (only one county, not all of them) hadn't had all the training necessary to operate these machines.

      Also note that the machines that had the problems had not received the most recent updates from the vendor, whereas the machines that worked well did have the most recent updates. So the fact is, the company must be doing some good QA work to get the upgrades ready in time, but upgrading machines across a whole state, and training workers across a whole state, takes time.

      And lastly, the person who blames the problems on Windows was not a spokesperson for the company; he was a spokesperson for the secretary of state's office. I highly doubt he's qualified to make any sort of pronouncement as to the technical cause of these problems. Hell, he may have just been told that there were problems with the unpatched versions of the software running the machines, and assumed that the software running the machines was Windows. Nowhere do I see an official for the company that makes these machines blaming Windows, although I agree with a previous poster in that Windows is probably overkill for a situation like this.

      Also, I think a receipt would be a good idea, with both the voter and the polls office keeping a copy so a manual count can be performed if necessary. That would make a good intermediate step before going to a totally paperless voting system.
    • thats not true.
      If an app crashes, there is no reason why the OS should. I am certianly not defending the application, but there is no excuse for the OS to crash, unless there is a problem in the kernel
      • Or the 5 dollar video card driver they decided to install. The proper selection of quality hardware/driver software is just as important as anything else. Linux drivers that are compiled into the kernel B(lack)SOD linux just like windows drivers that live in Ring 0 do. Care must be taken at all levels for the building of these machines.
  • This is really frightening. The poll workers couldn't attach a power cord to the PC? That is a really basic interface, and we then trus them to operate the mechanical systems that drive the legacy election process?

    I suppose that one possible issue is that there might not have been outlets near the voting booths...
    • Why not? We trust these people to drive tractor trailers, operate on us, cook our food, defend us in court, fix our cars and care for our children. It's not like you don't know a doctor, laywer, driver or cook who may be ace at their job, yet not know the first thing about setting up those "computer things". ;)
  • by JahToasted ( 517101 ) <toastafari@NosPaM.yahoo.com> on Friday August 23, 2002 @04:41PM (#4129568) Homepage
    The next president of the United States: {FATAL EXCEPTION IN 0x0E4F}
  • comparisons. (Score:2, Flamebait)

    Compare and contrast to systems in Florida and Germany

    Germany = state of the art open source based system

    Florida = unauditable mystery box system

    No surprises here, I would expect such systems in America's 'joke' puppet government owned by corporations verse Europe's 'real' and refined governments.
    • Hey Eurotrash, you put me in a really confusing situation.

      If I'm not careful, I could accidentally and unintentionally defend my nation's goverment (USA) which more than just sucks, it is as corrupt and perverse as any goverment can be. Even "Mad Max: Road Warriors" type anarchy couldn't possibly be worse.

      And on the other hand, I might not be as vicious enough in insulting the twisted parody of goverment much of europe seems to embrace. Those of you that no longer have actual monarchies, have had the same royals and aristocrats crawl back into their dens of political power over the centuries. That they have the nerve to spew contrived philosophy and rhetoric from time to time, is the most disgusting thing I've been forced to think about for at least a few months.

      As if being a slave for elite power cartels is so much more preferable to being own by greedy mindless corporations.

      Given the chance, wouldn't you prefer to be free of both?
    • If this isn't flamebait than my name isn't Elwood P Dowd.

      And it isn't.

  • What a sad commentary, that home computers should be the obvious metaphor for an unreliable piece of junk.

  • by The Wookie ( 31006 ) on Friday August 23, 2002 @04:52PM (#4129663)
    It had a touch-screen with a display that was probably about 18" high and 9" wide. There was a card reader to the right where you inserted your voting card. I'm not sure how the distribution of the cards will work. I don't know if they will issue every voter a card or if you get the card when you go to vote. It looked like it had a smart chip on it instead of a magstripe.

    The user interface was pretty easy. It would present one or more categories and all the candidates for each category. You just touched the one you wanted. Once you selected a candidate, it greyed out the others. It took me a few seconds to figure out that if I changed my mind, I had to touch previous selection to undo it. There were "Next" and "Previous" buttons to navigate through the various pages.

    At the end, it showed a summary of my votes so I could give a final yes/no to my choices. It printed out some kind of receipt, I think, but I didn't really look at it.

    If I had to guess on the platform, I have to say that I did see an hourglass icon that looked just like the one in Windows. Maybe they're running WinCE or something. It looked a lot like one of those "pen computing" devices that never really went anywhere.

    I would probably feel a little more secure about the system if it printed out a ballot that I then had to put in a ballot box, so it wouldn't be any worse than what we have now (from a fraud standpoint). It is certainly easier to use than the punch ballots we have now.
  • I voted (my first time as I am 18 yay!) in the primary and got to see one of these thing first hand. Very nifty. The interface is VERY clean, and it takes no time at all. The old method however was to basically fill out a form similar to a scantron sheet (darken the bubble...) where you constantly wondered if it was dark enough. I'm all for faster, more accurate voting counts too. Talk about instant results! Anyhow, again, I liked, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
  • This is, as other posters mentioned, much too complicated. Why use a touch screen at all, when you could use, I dunno, a piece of metal that you stick into a slot. The metal closes a circuit, a light lights up, and your vote is made. Once you're done, you could hit a "Yes, this is my vote" or "Start over" buttons, just in case everything is not correct. A simple counter mechanism could be used, and, if you want, you could print a copy to match your vote. This way, in a recount situation, you have a backup of the same caliber as the existing voting method.

    The nice thing about the above system is that, except for the printing, it could be prototyped by anyone with undergraduate EE skills. The circuits are dead simple, it adds speed to the counting process, it allows for double checking of results, and it doesn't require the voter to learn new skills.

    With all those things going for it, there must be something wrong with the idea.


  • During the last general election here in .ie, electronic voting was used in three constituencies as a part of a trial. I believe for the upcoming referendum, this will be expanded to several more constituencies.

    Ireland has a reasonably complex voting system. Each voter has a single vote, but can vote for several candidates in their order of preference. (Each constituency has between three and five seats). Even given that complexity, the system seemed to work well. There was about the expected turnout in each count center, and there were few concerns expressed about the usability of the system.

    Some info is at http://www.environ.ie/electronicvote.html [environ.ie].

  • Pen and Paper. Clearly marked.

    Easy to use. Easy to count. Easy to Spot Errors. Easy to Secure.

    Dosnt even need elctricity.

    Why isnt it used?
  • Two points which may be UK-specific..:

    1. We have a large network of vendors for the National Lottery... there was talk a while back about using this system for e-voting. It's secure, handles large numbers of transactions, uses proven technology, and each machine is capable of scanning hundreds of lottery tickets per hour. Most people in the UK knows how to fill in a lottery ticket...

    2. It's extremely easy to get multiple votes in the UK. My girlfriend received two voting cards for the 1995 General election, and could easily do so again... so any electronic version surely must be better than the current mess.

  • Great, a proprietary system recording my vote. I have no way to audit it for correctness. Even if it was open source, if a problem is found, there is no way to recount.

    Any voting system needs to be auditable and recountable. My local county (Dane County in Wisconsin) has a great system. The ballot is a big piece of paper with a broken arrow next to each candidate. Something like this: President
    Albert Gore (Democrat) <-- ---
    George Bush (Republican) <-- ---
    Ralph Nader (Green) <-- ---

    You use a provided pen to complete the line pointing to the candidate you want. You then take your sheet and feed it into the locked tabulating machine. The machine refuses your ballot if there are obvious errors and you're sent back to try again with a new ballot.

    The result: The interface is easy for anyone to understand. The tabulating machines make it possible to quickly generate tallies. The system is auditable since you can randomly hand count the ballots in a particular machine to verify the totals. In the event of problems, you can simply hand count the easy to read ballots (unlike trying to read holes in a punchcard).

    Unfortunately shiny computer screens are easier to sell that boring grey boxes and paper ballots.

  • Chris Riggall, a spokesman for the secretary of state's office, attributed the problems to errors by poll workers, a glitch in the Windows operating system that runs the machines and problems with electronic cards that replace paper ballots and ballot boxes.

    I wonder if they got some BSODs on those Windows boxes. I bet they are just locked up e-Machines running IE connected to IIS/ASP in the back room. Gimme a break. Maybe we need to have a vote on how to vote.
  • What a bunch of idiots, IMHO. Can't they figure out a way to use a system similar to what people have used for YEARS and just remove the issue of hanging chads, etc?

    Now they want Granny and the other old farts to deal with touch screens and the likes. What happens when they touch two places at the same time or leave a hand on one part of the screen?

    One step at a time folks. At least lets change this with the older generations in mind. Aren't they the ones who started this when a modified ballot style was used?

    I mean really. Insert a digitized pad with LED's or something. If you push a button the LED will show you that you pushed it correctly and track your vote. When you're done, there's one last selection( done / not done ) and your personalized iButton won't eject til you select DONE. You won't be able to exit the polling place til you hand over the iButton.

    Now who is behind all this new fangled voting system anyway? Some business is surely pushing it....

  • Hahahah...they act astounded that the computer crashed 11% of the time. DUH! They're running MS Windows.

    If we're going to have computerized voting, it should be done using a Linux or *BSD OS. This way, you won't get crashes. Also, any software which the government uses or is used by citizens interacting with the government should be Open-Sourced.
  • by craw ( 6958 )
    The more things change, the more they will stay the same.

    1) Microsoft will integrate the voting softare into the OS.

    2) In Chicago, computerized voting booths will be set up in cemeteries due to high voter registration in those areas.

    3) Florida election are a mess due to old people forgetting to hit the submit button. Younger people that immediately follow a senior citizen notice that the touchscreen have either the Dem (left) or Rep (right) icons continuously flashing.

    4) Losers of elections will demand a manual recount of the digital votes. State officials eventually declare the vote to be 0xdead to 0xbeef.

    5) RIAA and MPAA will attempt to stop the digital transfer of votes for candidates who are former musicians or actors.
  • We were the first country to have 100% electronic voting (and the 1st to have any kind of it, I guess) . This year's election (federal and state representatives, state governor, senate and president) about 80% of the voting booths will be transmit the data and give the results a few hours later.
    Yes, we're poor but we know about digital democracy ;).
    BTW, we *don't* use M$ OSs on it. It uses VirtuOS sort of multitask DOS. Old but works :)

  • Maybe i'm late in replying to this story, and hence this post won't be modded up.. (and i don't have that +1 bonus yet :-) but i just thought of putting here the fact that India has successfully used evm's in its elections. more details can be found at here [rajasthan.net] And it does not contain Microsoft software :-)

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson