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September 21, 2003

Voting Machines

Ever since the Florida debacle in the 2000 Presidential Election there's been alot of commotion about how to "fix" voting machines. Now the California Recall election is forcing the whole thing to a climax. Cory Doctorow is telling us how the IEEE, a computer group that sets national standards, is making some poor choices that are liable to stick for a long time.

What I don't get is why we're even still trying to create "voting machines". These machines were created a long time ago because the only way we could count votes automatically back then was to input the vote in a machine-readable form. Those ancient machines couldn't read a ballot with Xs in boxes. So we flicked levers, and punched holes.

But the machines are smarter now.

Computers can now read written text, analyze pictures, understand spoken words. Our kid's futures are determined by machines scoring the test answers that they input by filling a circle with a #2 pencil.

Let's return to the "old fashioned" paper ballot. Let's return to putting a big X next to the name of the candidates we support. Then feed these ballots into a machine that can read them.

Posted by jghiii at September 21, 2003 12:08 PM
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