OH Sec. of State: ditch e-voting machines.
Broken-record time again. Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner darkly summarizes her study of the state’s five electronic voting systems like so: “It was worse than I anticipated. I had hoped that perhaps one system would test superior to the others.” Instead, the report found what we e-voting naysayers have been crowing about for years: touchscreen voting machines are easily hacked. The New York Times report continues:
At polling stations, teams working on the study were able to pick locks to access memory cards and use hand-held devices to plug false vote counts into machines. At boards of election, they were able to introduce malignant software into servers.
Ms. Brunner proposed replacing all of the state’s voting machines, including the touch-screen ones used in more than 50 of Ohio’s 88 counties. She wants all counties to use optical scan machines that read and electronically record paper ballots that are filled in manually by voters.
The only people who appear surprised by these machines’ failures are the state officials who foolishly bought the snake oil being peddled by the manufacturers. Of course, e-voting contraptions have a history of failure. Too often they are built cheaply, designed stupidly, and sold to budget-makers whose familiarity with touchscreen technology–or any technology–doesn’t exactly rival Bill Gates’s.
Florida has also scrapped their touchscreen machines in favor of optical scanners with a paper trail. Everyone else should too.