Saturday, July 26, 2003

Paper ballots

Back when PCs first came out I had to get one. Then I had to figure out a way to make the PC do about anything I had been doing manually, and lamented that I couldn't put one in my pocket. Of course this meant that in addition to desktop PCs I had to have a portable computer (an old Kaypro running CP/M), a laptop (I'm on my 3rd one), and a PDA (my 3rd, and a 4th one could come soon). This has led to some absurd situations and I finally concluded that in fact computers weren't always the best tools for a job.

I'm thinking that that little epiphany has yet to occur to the people behind electronic voting. Good grief, if there's ever been a target for hacking or corruption, that's the one. A few scare stories, combined with public ignorance, would destroy confidence in the system almost immediately.

Glenn Reynolds has a few things to say about the good old fashioned paper ballots here. To that I would add that paper ballots would make it much more difficult to hack an election from overseas. We have enough dishonest voting as it is - I'm willing to suffer the inconvenience of going to a polling place in the US to minimize the possibility of guys like Jacques Chirac or Kim Jong Il influencing our elections on a large scale.

No comments: