Saturday, November 15, 2008

Moral Voting Machines

Now that the election is over, we can put to rest worries that the election might be stolen by Diebold. However, there's still plenty of evidence that electronic voting machines could be improved. For instance, voting mistakes still happen, and some citizens find the technology confusing. Could a voting machine be programmed to detect abnormal voting patterns that would signal possible confusion? This might be done by detecting anomalies in the physical interaction between voter and machine, for instance excessively changing selections. Or perhaps it could be accomplished by analyzing the actual selections in an attempt to detect their overall conceptual coherence. Of course, we still have to trust that black box voting is safe, but perhaps a dialogue with a machine in the voting booth could give confidence that one's votes are being processed by the machine.

1 comment:

Erik said...

or we could get rid of the notoriously unreliable and easily hackable DRE and opscan counting machines. Lever voting systems or paper ballots, hand-counted on election night in the local precincts, backed up by election verification exit polls will do much more to secure the election and give the public confidence it was honest and fair, than these infernal black boxes with secret software controlled by partisan Republican companies, that cause problems in every election they're used in. Check what's going on in Alaska and in CA on Prop 8 at bradblog.com