bookmark_borderA Failed Experiment

Timothy B. Lee has a feature article up at Ars Technica today on the state of e-voting in America. It isn’t pretty.

A decade ago, there was a great deal of momentum toward paperless electronic voting. Spooked by the chaos of the 2000 presidential election in Florida, Congress unleashed a torrent of money to buy new high-tech machines. Today, momentum is in the opposite direction. Computer security researchers have convinced most observers that machines like the ones in Fairfield Township degrade the security and reliability of elections rather than enhancing them. Several states passed laws mandating an end to paperless elections. But bureaucratic inertia and tight budgets have slowed the pace at which these flawed machines can be retired.

Voter-verifiable ballot advocates may have won most of the battles, but they’re in danger of losing the war. The reason? There was plenty of money under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to help counties and municipalities buy electronic voting machines, but there isn’t any money¬†available¬†to help those that want to go back to more secure voting systems.

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