Who reconciles the paper trail with electronic tallies?
Posted May 18, 2006 4:08 UTC (Thu) by scripter
Parent article: Diebold election insecurity systems
I would rather use the tried-and-true low-tech solution that we've used in my area for years. Lower purchase costs. Lower maintenance costs. No problems with faulty software. Not as many problems with faulty hardware (since there's no battery, no power supply, no capacitors, diodes or transistors). Fewer ways to hack the machine itself.
However, normal people tend to have a positive image of "user-friendly" high-tech touch-screen voting.
I live in Utah County, Utah where they've spent HAVA money to purchase Diebold machines. This wasn't originally the plan, due to concerns with the publicized insecurity of Diebold equipment. However, cost is a major consideration, and the county got a better deal by purchasing equipment at a cheaper, state-negotiated price -- Diebold equipment.
Recently, I spoke with an employee of the county clerk/auditor office. He told me that there is a paper audit trail with their Diebold machines. I asked if there is a process in place to spot-check the paper trail and reconcile it with the electronic tally. Apparently, this was a new idea to him. Having the ability to audit bank finances wouldn't be of much use if no one ever actually did the audit, and it's no different with electronic voting.
A paper trail is a good start, but useless unless there is a process in place to verify the electronic tally.
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