The Corner

E-Voting

As has already been noted here on the Corner, there are a good number of reasons to be alarmed by the introduction of electronic voting. This report from Wired just adds to the pile. Whatever the merits of this particular story, it is a reminder of the core problem with electronic voting systems. They simply do not inspire the confidence that, in a democracy, the mechanism for tallying votes must have. Without that, fairly or not, they are a recipe for mistrust and the sort of conspiracy theories that will undermine the basic understanding (that, broadly speaking, votes will be counted accurately and fairly) that legitimates the US political process. The consequences of countless ‘e-Floridas’ are too horrible to imagine.

Hype? I don’t think so. To take one basic issue, if someone discovered software problems serious enough to raise real questions about a result, how exactly would the votes be recounted?

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