Voting machine integrity through transparency
Posted Mar 27, 2008 18:29 UTC (Thu) by martinfick
In reply to: Voting machine integrity through transparency
Parent article: Voting machine integrity through transparency
Actually I can really understand that people will go off and buy things that they can't test.
Perhaps they trust that they will work when they buy them, but they do test them with regular usage to prove so!
I certainly test my washing machine, if it no longer gets my clothes clean, I buy a new one! I tend to notice when my dryer runs much longer, perhaps I stick my hand inside to see if the heating element is coming on (analysis) and then if not, I fix/replace it. If my furnace no longer heats my house (I do own thermometers to actually measure temperature), I higher a plumber to fix or replace it. Why would voting machines be any different? If they have been shown to not work, it might be time to consider putting your hand in the dryer to see if the heating element is coming on, (run a test election,) or call the plumber (send it to Ed Felten)
But these aren't even good examples, we are not talking about individual consumers, but rather organizations!
So I am not surprised that lots of places bought stuff that was snake-oil. I am more surprised that we are re-evaluating it so quickly :).
Quickly? If a ski resort buys an expensive charging mechanism to scan skiers passes at lift lines, they surely would evaluate whether it were properly denying access to unauthorized skiers pretty early in the process, surely before it were used on real customers, not after??? Why would voting be much different? Perhaps even a dry run with both systems (old paper/new electronic) side by side would be tried for a while, no? This would certainly be expected behavior from ordinary people/organizations, not just us free software supporters (we would expect more), wouldn't it?
But since businesses actually care about accuracy and govs. don't, perhaps it is surprising that it is being evaluated? ;)
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