Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Election Season

We are having an election this year, just like the Americans. I saw an interview of Stephen Spoonamore from back in 2005 on youtube and it left me disheartened about what might yet happen later this year. He basically suggests that election results can easily be fudged by whomever is able to hack into the electronic voting systems widely used today. Of course, he's completely right as well.

The ramifications are plain to see for the American contest, especially in light of the fact that the last two presidential elections were contested. But it made me think - is this also a problem we would face here in Canada? While I have not seen the touch screen voting system often criticized in America, I have seen Diebold voter card counting machines, etc. - all of which are equally non-transparent.

Why is it such a stretch for a company that builds ABM machines (such as Diebold) to apply the same standards of openness to certification? In the banking case, every part of the machine and code is scruitnized by both a third party analyst as well as a customer appointed one. No such practices are put in place for the voting machines, however.

If the Canadian election was to be stolen, that would be very bad in an ideological sense. But for the American election to be stolen, possibly again, well that would be a tragedy that has far larger ramifications for the rest of the world.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I agree! I lived in New Hampshire for awhile, and when I first voted there, I was amazed to see that we were to vote with pen and paper. I scoffed a bit, but now pen and paper seem like a much better system. I live in Pennsylvania now and we use the touch-screen system (I don't know if it is Diebold or not--I think not), and it makes me nervous. I see that I am touching the right name, but I don't have the confidence that my vote is necessarily tallied as such. It's scary.

And greetings to Louise! Is she okay?

--Elizabeth