WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 25 Apr 03 Washington, DC
1. ELECTRONIC VOTING: YOU THOUGHT "HANGING
CHADS" WERE A PROBLEM!
The Florida fiasco in the 2000 election sent officials across the
country scurrying to modernize voting in their jurisdictions.
Touch-screen electronic voting machines suddenly became a hot
technology. They are fast and convenient, but are they reliable,
tamper-proof and free of programing errors? There is absolutely
no way of knowing! The machine code is a proprietary secret of
the company that supplies them. This puts vote counting under
the full control of a private company, with no independent checks
or audits. Such machines are a serious threat to democracy, yet
few people are even aware that there is a controversy. Touch-
screen machines that print paper ballots would do, so long as the
voter can check the ballot, which would go in a secure box to be
available for manual counting. Opposition to paperless electronic
voting machines is being organized by David Dill, a computer
science prof at Stanford http://verify.stanford.edu/evote.html.
He is seeking signatures of technologists, on a statement to warn
the public of this threat to the integrity of the voting process.
Yes, Park is often reactionary, but the Bush administration seems to
be too much for him, and he's been putting out more and more
stuff like the above at http://www.aps.org/WN, especially on ABM
and weapons issues.
All the best,