Wednesday, February 10, 2010

All Things Considered: Electronic Voting Costs Dollars and Democracy

So far the New York Board of Elections has not shown it can learn from the experiences of others that software-based voting not only creates unpredictable short and long term costs but endangers Democracy. The following report is from NPR Affiliate KXJZ in Sacrament0 and was aired on All Things Considered on February 8th and the following day on Morning Edition.

Thanks to for the link.

(Sacramento, CA)

California elections officials say their computerized voting booths are in need of upgrades, but they can’t afford to make big improvements.
Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...
Two statewide elections are coming up later this year but local elections officials say they’re working with outdated electronic voting booths.

Private companies that sell the equipment say the state and counties would be better off buying new systems rather than trying to modernize the old equipment.

That would require millions of dollars that governments don’t have right now.

At a public hearing on the issue in Sacramento, some citizens urged the officials to get rid of electronic voting, period.

Tom Courbat is with the Riverside County group “Save Our Vote”...
Courbat: “We’re not convinced there is enough security in these voting systems to justify continuing to purchase them. We have seen demonstrations over and over again of machines being hacked...”
Courbat says it would be more secure if voters cast paper ballots that would be counted by hand.

But advocates for the disabled say not everyone can fill out a paper ballot.

Note: Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs) are one means by which special needs voters can create a ballot independently . BMDs are provided at every polling place in New York State. These BMDs are separate from the Optical Scan Voting Machines and the ballots created can be counted by hand. The issues should not be confused as they often are, including in the above report.