I am a technophile and gadget geek of the highest order. If it is related to computers or electronics, I own it, I want it, or I'm pushing it. To me, the advances and ease made in life due to technology are amazing. I enjoy working in the IT field. If my hands are on servers and networks and PDA, etc, I am happy.
So why don't I like the idea of electronic voting? As a matter of fact, why do I think that is a horrible idea that scares me?
Maybe I should ask myself why I still write my most important information down with pen and paper before I put it into my PocketPC?
The truth is that from working in MIS, I know all too well how easy it is to lose files if there aren't backups. I've spent many a long night trying to clean up a network after a really bad virus attack.
More importantly, I know about the steps I've had to take to make sure there isn't network intrusions.
There was a time when I was younger when I used to "hang" with a bunch of hackers online. It was then that I learned that any program, any network, anything that has a network connection can be compromised. The skills I learned from then I later used in my last job to "hack" into workstations and servers where the admin as well as end-user passwords were lost and still not lose data. It was so easy for me and quite useful.
This is one exact reason why the idea of Electronic voting is a bad one.
Sure, we had the problems in the last election with the hanging chads, et cetera. This did show that there was a problem with the method used to vote, but not with the process itself. This does not mean that we need to turn to computers for this issue but to redesign the ballot forms themselves. Yes, computers are faster and more accurate in general, however computers are subject to virii and bad programming. Take a look at what happened recently to some ATMS in the country this past August. Computers aren't the fail-safe that some people like to think they are.