The Problem With Electronic Voting Machines

Posted by : Brian | On : November 10, 2012

Throughout this last election, I’ve heard so many people that are disgruntled with our “old” and “out of date” paper voting system. Here in Washington State, we are an all-absantee ballot system where everyone either mails in or drops their ballot into a drop box before 8:00pm on election night.

So why don’t we just all go to electronic voting? Heck, why don’t we all just vote from a “Voting App.” In theory, it would be great. It would be easy to get everyone to vote and we would get instant results. No more long nights of political pundits making bold predictions based on 3% of the votes that had been counted.

So what’s the problem, you ask?

1. There is no way to track and verify. There’s a reason that the military still does everything with paper. It leaves a paper trail that you can always go back to verify and double/triple check. A mark on a paper can not be changed. A vote for a certain candidate based on a touch screen whose results go off into electronic land…? Who knows? You can never prove otherwise.

2. Electronic voting machines have faults that accidentally input the wrong thing. Don’t believe me? Here’s a video from the most recent election. Now issues like these are determined to be calibration errors, but they are still errors that could be missed by a voter. Would you appreciate your vote going to someone else because of a “calibration error?”

3. Legitimate hacking is also a problem. With anything electronic, it can be hacked. Now I’m sure the security measures on these machines is probably state of the art, but hackers are always one step ahead. Look at the group “Anonymous.” (If you don’t know who they are, I’ll do a post another day about them.) If a hacker could break get into the system, how many votes could they change?

4. The system could be rigged from the start (conspiracy theory alert). Fox 19’s Ben Swann does a great video on the company behind the voting machines. I highly encourage you to watch it. It’s only about 4 minutes long and it makes some connections that are interesting to see, and you won’t see it on other news channels.

(Can’t figure out how to embed the video, but watch it here)

Now I know it sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory, but paper ballots would remove all doubt.

As a side note that ties along with this – voter fraud is not something that only 45 year old men living in their parents’ basement wearing his tin foil hat think happen. It’s a very real concern. So much so that we had a UN partner here in the United States to monitor our elections. Read about it here. Does it not seem wrong to anybody else that we have an international group monitoring our own elections?

Paper trails are important. So what can you do to make sure they stay paper trails? Vote. No no… Not for the President. Research and vote for the your state’s Secretary of State. They are in charge of the election process within the state. When researching, watch out for people that are looking to “streamline” the “out of date” process. If you see a pro-electronic voting stance, don’t vote for them. There is usually a candidate that will talk about the importance of paper trails and voting validity. That’s the one you’re looking for.

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