Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The scary side of computerized voting

The L.A. Times is reporting that when the Governator went to vote this afternoon, he was told that he "had already voted".
Elections officials said a Los Angeles County poll worker had entered Schwarzenegger's name into an electronic voting touch screen station in Pasadena on Oct. 25. The worker, who was not identified, was testing the voting machine in preparation for early voting that began the next day.

Somehow, Schwarzenegger's name was then placed on a list of people who had already voted, said Conny B. McCormack, the Los Angeles County registrar.
Of course, he (or his staff) got it all straightened out. What would happen, though if one of us little folk had the same experience? The standard solution is to give the votor a provisional ballot and sort out which is the "real" vote later on. A malicious person with access to the voting machines at the least could sow confusion and delay the election results, and at worst change the election outcome. This points out the need for better safeguards and vote verification.

As the president of the California Voter Foundation commented:
"If the governor is going to have a mix-up on his ballot," she said, "it will make other voters wonder what is going to happen with their ballots."
(via Pharyngula)


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