Republicans for Fair Elections

by on September 21, 2006 · 0 comments

Techdirt is reporting that Maryland Governor Erlich has come out against the use of electronic voting machines in this year’s elections. I agree with Mike:

The rationale for keeping the machines also leaves us scratching our heads: “We paid millions. These are state-of-the-art machines.” Two responses: The evidence is pretty clear that these are not state of the art machines. They’re badly made, with ridiculously weak security, and a company behind them that bullies its critics, blatantly misleads in its responses to security problems and cracks jokes about their weak security when confronted. Therefore, it really doesn’t matter how many millions you spent on them, the machines are a problem. The Senate President also accused Ehrlich of simply using this issue as a political ploy to rally his supporters. By the way, for those of you who want to believe e-voting is simply a big Republican conspiracy (based on some offhand remarks by Diebold’s former chief), we should note that Ehrlich (who wants to scrap the machine) is a Republican, and the folks who want to keep the machines are Democrats. So, once again, we’ll note that this is not a partisan issue. It’s an issue about having secure, fair and accurate voting.

Quite so. Computers are very useful for a wide variety of tasks, but merely putting a computer in something does not make it “state of the art.” These are defective voting machines, they put the integrity of the election at risk, and so they shouldn’t be used no matter how many bells and whistles they might have. Hopefully Erlich’s announcement will be the start of a trend.

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