Our faith-based voting system isn’t fit for a democracy

Dan Rather hits the nail right on the head.

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Digital Democracy in Doubt
Dan Rather

The upcoming midterm elections will be historic, not because of whom we vote for but how we vote: For the first time some form of electronic voting machine will tally ballots in all 50 states. This new digital democracy is the culmination of the federal 2002 Help America Vote Act — a nearly $4 billion upgrade of voting machines approved after the disastrous 2000 Florida presidential election, which infamously left the fate of our country hanging by a chad.

The new computers are designed to count votes faster and more accurately than the clunky old levered, punch card and butterfly ballot machines. And laudably, they will make it easier for tens of thousands of disabled voters to cast ballots. But the new electronic voting, or e-voting, machines also have raised as many questions as they have answered. And they all boil down to the very definition of a democracy: How can the public be sure that each vote counts?

In our latest segment examining the use of e-voting machines, “Das Vote,” we will show again that there’s no guarantee that these machines count votes correctly. Indeed, since 2000, there have been several cases of certain types of e-voting machines mis-recording votes. A number of voting precincts have since spent considerable money upgrading their e-voting machines so they also record a paper record. But many are simply relying on their citizens to have faith in technology that few understand.

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