In Diebold We Trust

Cimg2552_3I’ve sort of resisted the whole hysteria over the Diebold voting machines. I don’t call it hysteria because I think the concerns are baseless; I believe the security concerns are real and that the lack of some sort of receipt to reassure you that the machine recorded the vote you cast is a problem that ought to be fixed ASAP; but I also think the concerns have been blown up by a lot of people into an assumption that computerized vote systems will be hacked and votes or whole elections will be stolen this time around. Sure, it’s possible. But the fact is that the legitimacy of elections relies not on the technology employed but on the good faith and trust and upstanding conduct of the people running them and participating in them. Make sure the election systems are secure, by all means — I agree with the notion that the standard should be the automatic teller systems almost all of us use and for which the standard and expectations of accuracy and reliability are set extremely high. Let’s just not exaggerate the threat really posed by the technology we’re using now; that just creates another level of fear and cynicism about the way elections work just at the time we need to get more people involved.

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