Cringely on E-Voting, Part 2

As promised, this week’s Cringely column is the second part of his look into the whole electronic voting mess. It’s an eye-opener:

I asked the question, “Who decided to leave out this auditing capability?” The ability to audit is actually required by the Help America Vote Act of 2001 [actually, it was 2002 — ed.], which is providing the $3.9 billion needed to buy all those touch screen voting machines. Or at least it appears to be required. Certainly, most of the Congressmen and Senators who voted for the Act thought it was required. But then the language was changed slightly in a conference committee, and for some reason, though the auditing requirement remains, most systems aren’t auditable. Huh? The best explanation for this that I have seen so far says that the new machines are “able” to be audited in the same sense that I am “able” to fly a Boeing 747. I am a sentient being with basic motor skills just like all 747 pilots, so I am “able” to fly a 747. So we are “able” to audit these machines. We just don’t know how.

Glad to hear the functioning of our democracy is being managed so well!



December 12, 2003
2:48 pm

Now, we have to look at the fun things about e-voting.
Arlington County has made available on line a list of all of the write in candidates that were typed into the electronic voting machines.
And since most of the Constitutional Offices only had one candidate running, there is lots of creativity here.
For instantce here are some of people who recieved votes for Commonwealth Attorney:
Johnnie Cochran, Jessica Biel, John Ashcroft, Al Gore, Jerry Kilgore (the state A.G. and future governor)Bart Simpson, and Bing Crosby. Mark Grady, the Dean of George Mason Law, got two votes, which tied him with Donald Duck, and Mickey Mouse got 12 votes. A very smart and handsome young lawyer named Joseph B. Dailey only got one vote, tied with “zappa,” no indication if that voter meant Frank or Dweezle.


December 12, 2003
5:50 pm

Don’t forget Moon Unit.
I mean, like, fer shur.