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If this is what it looks like, it’s terrifying: an electronic voting machine that won’t let you vote for who you want to vote for.
When programmer Don Relyea tried to choose one candidate on his voting machine, the computer chose a different candidate – plus four other candidates from the same, incorrect party – right in front of him. He captured the whole thing on video.
We knew how you could hack a voting machine, but California has discovered that some of its machines practically invite you to play. Machines made by Premier Election Solutions are finally under investigation for their faulty, omissive, easily alterable logs.
Instant democracy is getting closer. In 2011, Estonians will be able to elect their representatives using mobile phones. How would it work and, more importantly, will it actually work?
Artifex, makers of the Linux Ghostscript Postscript interpreter, is suing Diebold for breaking the fair use terms of its software. Diebold used the freely-available software, which is fine, but when they authored some changes to Ghostscript Postscript, they neglected to follow the very reasonable rules such use requires. Biggies like HP, Xerox, and IBM all use Ghostscript legally and honestly, so why can’t Diebold?
It’s amazing that you can fall asleep with the polls showing one thing and wake up to a world you don’t even recognise. Despite who I may have supported as of November 4th, as a fervent supporter of both democracy and touchscreen technology, I accept DRE 700:259 as the 44th President of the United States. But I’m totally using a paper ballet in 2012. [The Onion Thanks Mr. Ponies!]
Well, the election is over! Luckily, it was pretty clear from about two hours in who would be the winner this time around , so even if there were a couple of iffy voting hijinks, it wouldn’t be anything to take up to the Supreme Court. Still, some post-election voting humour never hurt anybody – check out this Rube Goldberg machine by some kids over at the University of California Berkeley and feel relieved that, unlike in 2000, it’s easy this year to laugh about this kind of stuff. [Thanks Roland!]
When I went to vote this afternoon, I was kind of disappointed to find that my location was using paper ballots. Not that I have anything against that really—other than the waste of paper it is actually pretty hard to screw up as a voter (although, once my ballot was scanned I suppose anything can happen). I guess the gadget dork in me was just hoping for a touchscreen model—despite the potential reliability issues. So, I have a two part question for you: Which voting method would you prefer? Which did you actually use?
The Gadget: Touchscreen, punch card and lever voting machines
Remember the voting machines in West Virginia that just couldn’t bring themselves to let people vote Obama? Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright, who “hates stories like this” was good enough to show Video the Vote how a mis-calibrated voting machine would take a vote for Obama (or anyone) and turn it into a vote for another candidate—and not necessarily John McCain, either, though that’s what would happen if you picked a straight Democratic ticket. So yeah, this could definitely happen to you.