NY Times: “Check The Vote”

Once again the New York Times gets it right on electronic voting coming out in favor of post-election audits and reading their local Brennan Center reports for accurate information. <read>

Computer scientists have shown that it is easy to tamper with electronic voting machines in ways that are all but impossible to detect. The machines also make mistakes on their own. Just this month, the elections supervisor of Palm Beach County, Fla., apologized after machines there failed to count 14 percent of the votes cast in a city commission election.

The answer is voter-verifiable paper trails: paper records of each vote cast that voters can check to ensure that their preferences were accurately recorded. When these paper records are created, malfunctioning or dishonest machines can then be detected by a careful audit that compares the electronic vote totals with the votes recorded on paper.

Unfortunately, states don’t require such scrupulous audits. A 2007 study co-authored by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law found that most of the 38 states with voter-verifiable paper trails did not even require audits after every election. The states that do have audits do them inadequately.

An earlier accurate Times editorial was Broken Polls. Contrast this to the mythical world of the Hartford Courant which ignores all negative evidence including our own UConn Research.

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