South Florida Sun-Sentinel
A Way to Restore Confidence in Elections
By Steven F. Freeman and Joel Bleifuss
October 30, 2006
Widespread concern over recent reports from Princeton University on Diebold machine susceptibility to tampering, and from New York University on e-voting more generally, confirm what computer scientists have long known and contended: There is little reason for confidence in election results obtained from electronic voting machines.
Yet voters in the United States are denied the one powerful technique that might restore confidence in election results — an independent exit poll.
In next week’s midterm elections, 90 percent of Americans will vote on electronic touch-screen voting machines or optical-scan systems. According to a 2005 study by the Government Accountability Office, these systems have inherent flaws that “could allow unauthorized personnel to disrupt operations or modify data and programs that are critical to the integrity of the voting process.”
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