I can count the issues I see with Electronic Voting on the fingers of one hand:
1) Entrusting public information that drives public policy to private, proprietary systems is counterintuitive and disingenuous.
2) When votes are electronically countable, they are also electronically transformable. Electronic ballot stuffing seems like it would be easier than large-scale paper forgery.
3) Voting machine glitches are more common the more complex the machinery is. The simpler the process, the less likely you’ll be faced with long lines at 7am because some poll worker can’t program a VCR, either.
That pretty much sums up the issues. And I still have one finger left, not to mention a thumb.
1) It looked cool and modern. Nothing says “progress in government” like shiny new election machines. Yes, I’m easily impressed (this may be “issue #4 — expense,” but I believe these terminals will eventually cut election-day expenses, because I’m a forward-thinking optimist.)
2) I was in and out in five minutes. No glitches, no lines, and the machine was FAST — even when I was insisting that it let me double-check how it recorded my selections.
3) Big, easy-to-read text on a nice touch-screen. No more itsy-bitsy fine-print in dark little booths. When I looked at the proposition for a school leeway, I was able to read the whole whing without squinting or bending over. (I voted yes on that one. No new tax — the vote was for a re-allocation of existing tax monies, which is one of the few bits of true democracy you’ll find in this representative republic of ours)
4) It scrolled a little piece of paper inside, which I could read, review, and approve or even reject. Apparently there is a hard-copy being made in case the election is contested. While this does not completely address issue #2 above, it goes a long way towards making electronic manipulation of votes more difficult.
So there’s my experience with electronic voting. Summary: I like it. I’m not denying that there are issues (I would love to see the software, encryptions, and everything related to the process open-sourced, or at least open to peer review) but they were transparent for me.
–Howard “I probably just elected Adolph von Hussein-Amin as the Tyrant Principio of the Secessionary Territory of Utah” Tayler