Diebold Election Systems

Try to picture how you spend your time working on your computer. You may keep an address book, update your mutual fund spreadsheets, write a document or two… pretty normal stuff to do with a computer, most would agree.

Now, take an operating system very much like one popularly used at home, and layer an application on top of it which provides the sole vote tallying mechanism for many state and local jurusdictions throughout the United States. You then have a Diebold Election Systems GEMS system.

Think about it. Your precint’s or state’s vote tallying system is being entrusted to commercial software with questionable technical integrity running on an operating system which is not much better. What about these machines out in the field? With no paper trail, how do we know that the data entered by voters is what comes out in the end?

Vote certification and integrity is losing the required human touch. Two-hundred years of using paper (the right way) can’t be wrong.

5 Replies to “Diebold Election Systems”

  1. Yah, I’ve got no faith in the thing. Especially the lack of any backup that would offer some indisputable evidence of tampering. No paper trail, no hanging chad, no physical evidence. A few mouse clicks or a couple token code commands and poof, voting history rewritten.

    It’s absurd.

    But one more tool for the powers that be to selectively listen to what they want to hear. “What, huh? There we problems with the machines in black districts? Lotsa null votes? oh well… How are the results coming back from Whitesville? Oh, good, 100% accuracy. Told you these things worked great.”

    bah.

  2. How about a simple system that allows you to check who you voted for on the internet when you supply a username and password. That way you can be assured your vote was not manipulated.

  3. A system that would allow one to check their vote afterwards, while sounds great, would abridge the basis of the democratic voting system itself – ie, the right to remain anonymous when placing your vote.

    Such a system’s technology would inherently, either directly or indirectly, have to contain the ability to tie a vote to a voter… in order for the voter to verify his/her own vote.

    /ek

  4. A voting system could easily provide a voting audit method for the voter without compromising anonymity. The voting machine in the booth does not know the identity of the voter standing in front of it, so it can print out a voting receipt showing their votes and a unique random identifier. The vote record could be accessed on a central web site by the unique key, so each person could, if they felt like it, check their own vote, but nobody could tell the identify of any of the visible votes unless they had the receipt in their possession. Even losing your receipt wouldn’t be a huge risk, since it contains no identifying information except the one unique key.

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