Saturday, May 29, 2004

The Electric Diebold Voting Test

India just finished national elections with electronic voting machines. And the machines apparently worked well.

So electronic voting is OK for the USA? Oh, hell no!

India uses a simple, transparent system administered by an independent agency. The US has complex and inscrutable systems controlled by politicians. And partisans.

Addressing simplicity issue, we present an instructive (but not true, we'll explain later) analogy you've heard before.

NASA spent millions creating a ballpoint pen for the astronauts. Normal ballpoints need gravity and air pressure to function. The space pen has special ink and nitrogen pressure capsules.

The Soviets also solved this problem - by using pencils.

That story is the shorter version of the post Indian EVM compared with Diebold at Techaos.

About the space pen - in 1968 NASA bought a pen that Fisher already had on the shelf. It writes underwater, in the air and in orbit. Astronauts and cosmonauts still use them and if yer into that kinda thing you can buy one today.