Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Rush To Technology Always Causes Problems

ABC News: Could Super Tuesday Be Super Chaos? In this case - voting machines.

People have a screwy view of technology. Most people think it is next-door to magic, but really it is next-door to 'not working quite right.'
[Voting foundation's president Pamela] Smith says that many states and counties rushed to buy electronic voting machines without regarding the need for a way to verify votes if the machine malfunctioned.

"What happened was people moved too quickly to all electronic and didn't realize that they had to have a way to check for accuracy," she said.
Even some people in technology don't understand testing. You don't test (only test) that the machine works the way it should when all is well, you also test everything you can imagine where people do things incorrectly. (You can't really make systems fool-proof, because the fools are to darn clever.)

You would think that with something as important as voting, some kind of audit trail would be available. Recounts? It doesn't look that way.
Six states, including New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Arkansas, Delaware and Tennessee, are "considered at high risk for having election results affected by machine malfunction or tampering," according to a report by Common Cause and the Verified Voting Foundation, nonprofit groups committed to accountable politics.
Those states cover a fair portion of the voting population.

So be prepared. If the Clintons lose today, they will sue. If the Clintons win, they will be accused of causing the malfunctions, profiting from them, or in general "stealing" the nomination. (Of course they already said they were going to try and get the Florida and Michigan delegates seated, even though the rules said they would not.)

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