Friday, December 01, 2006

"Why are we doing this at all? is the question people are asking," said Warren Stewart...

The Washington Post has an article today summarizing the National Institute of Standards and Technology's report on electronic voting machines:

Paperless electronic voting machines used throughout the Washington region and much of the country "cannot be made secure," according to draft recommendations issued this week by a federal agency that advises the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

The assessment by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the government's premier research centers, is the most sweeping condemnation of such voting systems by a federal agency. (WaPo)

I voted in South Carolina on an electronic voting machine and I felt that my vote would be counted, but that confidence in technology is probably common in my generation. We register for classes, submit papers, apply for loans and do our banking online, so voting seems like the next step. College student government elections are even done online. So why not vote using a computer?

I'd like to see the standard for "secure" that the institute used. Nothing can be made completely secure, and new ways of protecting electronic information are being developed every day. Maybe the type of software they were testing "cannot be made secure" by a specific means of security, but it seems like a large jump to say that they won't ever be secure (to an acceptable degree).

No comments: