Wednesday, August 22, 2007

more e-voting follies(perhaps shockingly, from Ohio)

from one of my newsletters:

E-voting predicament: Not-so-secret ballots
By Declan McCullagh,
Published on ZDNet News: Aug 20, 2007 4:00:00 AM

Ohio's method of conducting elections with electronic voting machines appears to have created a true privacy nightmare for state residents: revealing who voted for which candidates.

Two Ohio activists have discovered that e-voting machines made by Election Systems and Software and used across the country produce time-stamped paper trails that permit the reconstruction of an election's results--including allowing voter names to be matched to their actual votes.

Making a secret ballot less secret, of course, could permit vote selling and allow interest groups or family members to exert undue pressure on Ohio residents to vote a certain way. It's an especially pointed concern in Ohio, a traditional swing state in presidential elections that awarded George Bush a narrow victory over John Kerry three years ago.

Ohio law permits anyone to walk into a county election office and obtain two crucial documents: a list of voters in the order they voted, and a time-stamped list of the actual votes. "We simply take the two pieces of paper together, merge them, and then we have which voter voted and in which way," said James Moyer, a longtime privacy activist and poll worker who lives in Columbus, Ohio...

this, of course, is only the beginning of the article. the rest is here...

N.B.: As I said, the article snippet above is from one of my e-mail newletters. This one's from ZD Net News. Incidentally, if you read blogs and have an interest in technology-related policy issues, not just e-voting varmintry but DRM(digital rights management) legislation, and wireless and cable TV related legislation, etc then I strongly recommend you subscribe to one of the tech newsletters, whether with ZD Net, or C-Net, or Wired News. I think PC World has a good newsletter too.

A lot of times, technology related politics that seems to slip through the "MSM" cracks sometimes manages to make it into the tech news sites. Why this happens, naturally I don't have the foggiest. I am reminded, nevertheless, of how in the past Skimble has often commented about how a lot of the perfidity of the business world gets fleshed out better in the business pages of newspapers, even when it also has a lot of relevance in section A.

(and yes, I know "polling" is also a word for voting. it's just that I really, really like tag words.-JV)

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