Touchscreen Voting

TOUCHSCREEN VOTING….I’ve posted now and again about the electronic voting controversy, and although I’ve generally tried to avoid the wilder conspiracy theory aspects of it I still find the whole thing disturbing. Even if you discount overt corruption, anybody who’s worked in the software industry has to be horrified at even the garden variety problems that are likely to crop up with touchscreen voting machines that have no paper trail.

If you want to catch up on the whole controversy, the Independent has a long but very good article about the whole thing. Highly recommended. (But why do I have to go to England to find this story, anyway?)

What really bugs me about the whole thing is that touchscreens are so unnecessary. I’ve spent the last decade in the scanning industry, and optical scanning technology is fast, mature, and reliable; it allows you to print highly legible ballots; it’s easy to use; and it automatically provides a paper trail in case you want to do an audit or a recount. You may have noticed that there aren’t a heckuva lot of topics that Glenn Reynolds and I agree on, but this is one of them. Optical scanning is the way to go.