28 July 2004

Dude, where's my vote?

Here's a surprise. The Associated press reports that Some Fla. voting records lost in computer crash. Wow! Who would have thunk?!

As a software engineer, I especially like the following snippet:

State election officers say manual recounts are not needed since the machines tell each voter if they are skipping a race, known as an undervote, and will not let them vote twice for the same race, known as an overvote. The officials also maintain that the computer systems running the machines can be trusted to count the votes accurately as they're cast, and give the final numbers when needed.
I don't know where to start with a quote like this.

ATMs record each transaction on a paper tape inside the system. You can hear it printing if you listen. ATM manufactuers (e.g Diebold) are the ones building the voting machines. Clearly they believe a paper trail important when handling all that money.

Yet when you start handling votes, suddenly we don't need all that pesky paper? Please. The system is perfect? Fool-proof? Nothing can go wrong? Are you nuts?!

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