Even more telling are recent polls showing that more and more Americans across the country seem less and less confident that their votes will be tabulated accurately by electronic voting machines. A new CNN poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation shows that two thirds of voters believe that computer hackers or people working for candidates will deliberately manipulate the elections results.
Despite whether human tampering happens or not, there’s a glaring question mark here. Despite the fact that they have the capability and motherboard port for them, why does the overwhelming evidence seem to be that the voting machines were intentionally purchased without printers?
Those on the defense maintain that it was intentional to keep the cost down on each machine by avoiding the expense of paper and maintenance of a printer. Those against the idea maintain that it was to prevent evidence of tampering.
Anyone with even passing experience with a home or business computer knows how easy a glitch in a software package can occur causing loss of valuable data. For that reason more and more people are beginning to wonder why so many states don’t seem to be concerned about the blatant impossibility of an independent audit should the system fail or worse, if it were intentionally tampered with.
Diebold voting machines use basically the same motherboards as their ATMs, so it would be a simple matter to attach a printer. Then each voter would be given an anonymous and unique ID number. As each ballot was cast, the printer would add it to a roll, and the voter could then check his number against the printed record on his way out the door. In the case of a recount it’d be right there for all to see.
More and more people are raising one question: Would you do business with a bank whose ATMs didn’t give paper receipts? I used to have a sign behind my desk that read “If it makes sense, it’s against company policy!” That seems to be the government policy here.
So far e-voting machines have caused frustrating delays, breakdowns, and controversy in Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, California, and Florida, among others. Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich of Maryland has even gone so far as to suggest scrapping his state’s machines after his state’s September 2005 primary debacle and going low-tech instead until the bugs can be worked out their systems.