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Poll: Do You Trust Electronic Voting Machines? - RF Cafe Forums

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Do You Trust Electronic Voting Machines?
Yes, they are more secure than paper ballots.    3%  [ 2 ]
Yes, they are as secure as paper ballots.    9%  [ 6 ]
No, they are not secure enough.    77%  [ 50 ]
No Opinion, but I will be voting.    8%  [ 5 ]
No Opinion and I will not be voting.    2%  [ 1 ]
I am in jail now and cannot vote anyway.    2%  [ 1 ]

Total votes : 65

 Post subject: Do You Trust Electronic Voting Machines?
Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:27 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 2:02 pm
Posts: 451
Location: Erie, PA

It is election time again in America and now, along with all the other problems, electronic voting machines are being widely introduced. I wrote the most recent Kirt's Cogitation on the topic.

This poll asks the question, "Do You Trust Electronic Voting Machines?"

Thanks for your participation.

- Kirt Blattenberger :smt024
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster

 Post subject: Early voting on electronic ballot
Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:41 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 2:02 pm
Posts: 451
Location: Erie, PA

Yesterday (Friday), Melanie and I cast our ballots in early voting in order to avoid the lines on Tuesday. Our polling place in Winston-Salem, NC, happened to use electronic voting machines. Here are my observations.

* The screens were large and easy to read, and all of my selections were accurately recorded. GOOD

* The privacy factor was nearly zero since the viewing angle of the screens is very wide, and the machines were not located in booths with curtains surrounding them. Everything was wide open for everyone to see. I can imagine in areas where there is a heavy bias for one political party over the other that someone might feel extremely intimidated in that environment. It is no exaggeration when I say that it was the equivalent to standing in front of a 19" LCD computer monitor trying to play Solitaire while using your body to block the screen so no on can see what you're doing. VERY BAD

* As you confirmed each selection, a paper tape similar to a grocery receipt scrolls beneath a glass window so that you can see a paper record of the vote. GOOD

* There were some offices where I did not choose to vote for anyone, so I did not select any candidates, then continued to the next screen. At the end, after indicating that I was done voting, a confusing screen appeared informing me that I had not made selections for every office. It offered to take me back to the screen to make a selection, or to continue. When I selected Continue, it gave me the warning screen again. This time I noticed at the bottom there was yet another option to continue as-is and finalize the ballot. I was ready to go get the poll worker to find out why I was being required to cast a vote that I did not care to cast, until I saw the option to finalize without voting for a particular office. BAD

Overall, I was not at all impressed with the implementation, particularly the total lack of privacy that is expected in our culture. Amazingly, when writing this I discovered through scannig the U.S. Constitution that it does not explicitly gurantee the right to privacy when voting. Many state constitutions do gurantee such a right, however.

I also did not appreciate the "Made in Venezuela by friends of Hugo Chavez" sticker on the side of the machine. ;-)

Has anyone else experienced electronic voting? What is your opinion?

- Kirt Blattenberger :smt024
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster

 Post subject:
Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:27 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 11:47 am
Posts: 84
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
You need another option:
"I am in jail now and I vote daily!"

 Post subject: Nov 2007
Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:21 am 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 2:02 pm
Posts: 451
Location: Erie, PA

Well, there was just another incident with the electronic voting that did not leave me with warm fuzzy feeling. Melanie and I went to the local library to vote against a sales tax increase. After fumbling through the machine initiation procedure, the poll worker looked skeptical and walked away. I did my voting and left. As we were ready to pul out of the parking lot, Melanie reported that she had been presented with a different set of screens than what I saw.

It turns out the poll worker had set up her machine for a different voting district. We went back in and confronted the worker about the situation, resulting in a couple supervisors gathering in a group to discuss the matter, and assured us that the incident would not invalidate Melanie's vote. I felt very confident that they knew what they were talking about. NOT!

Well, the tax increase won out by a margin of 16 votes. I plan to file a protest.

Have you had any similar (or completely different) experiences?

- Kirt Blattenberger :smt024
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster

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