Another E-Voting Critic

by on January 30, 2007 · 0 comments

The Miami Herald is predicting that newly elected Florida governor Charlie Crist will be the latest elected official to come out against DREs:

Gov. Charlie Crist will recommend on Thursday that Florida’s problem-plagued touchscreen voting machines should go the way of the butterfly ballot–the trash heap–and his proposed budget will recommend replacing them all with optical scan machines, which produce a paper trail, at a cost of up to $35 million.

U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, a Boca Raton Democrat, will join the governor in Palm Beach County to announce that his proposed budget will include the money to pay for replacing the machines in 15 counties, said Josh Rogin, Wexler’s deputy chief of staff.

”It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time,” Rogin said of Wexler’s six-year battle to require counties to have a paper trail.

Rogin said the governor’s office will recommend replacing the touchscreen machines with optical-scan machines, even though counties have spent millions acquiring the equipment.

The governor’s office would not confirm or deny the reports. The secretary of state’s office said the cost to replace the machines would be at between $30 million and $35 million.

It’s remarkable how quickly the conventional wisdom on this issue has shifted. When researchers raised alarms less than four years ago, they were regarded by many as paranoid eccentrics. Even in the wake of alleged e-voting problems in the 2004 elections, it was still challenging to get elected officials to pay attention to the issue. Now, as more and more politicians begin to publicly question the security of e-voting, it’s beginning to look like it’s only a matter of time before states start scrapping their DREs en masse.

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