Voting, Diebold and Trust

We’re getting close to election day in the U.S. and my thoughts have turned to making my final decisions and going back over comparative data on my choices. As I’ve contemplated standing in the voting booth and making my selections, I suddenly realized that I had NO CLUE if the State of Minnesota was or was not using electronic voting machines.

At this stage of my life, I’d never expected myself to begin questioning the integrity of thevoting infrastructure in the United States. Integrity of voting is thebedrock of any democracy and trust in it is as important as trust in
the banking system if not more so. Instead of holding trust, my concern has continued to grow about the possible continued deployment of closed, proprietaryelectronic voting apparatus without a paper trail for recount as a backup. It’s far too easy to manipulate results.

We’re living in a time of an unfortunate, acceleratingmistrust of government, due in no small part to more than half the populations’ fundamental concern about the outcome of the 2000 presidential election. In addition, there is an accelerating awareness of the insecurity andunreliability of voting machines manufactured by the largest maker of these machines, the Diebold company. To get a sense of what’s going on, perform your own search on Google with the string, Diebold voting machines and you’ll discover it returns 3,150,000 results — the first several pages of which details the growing controversy surrounding the concerns about Diebold and the baselevel insecurity of their approach.

As it turns out, Minnesota isn’t using them this time around (I’ve emailed the elections commission and the Secretary of State in Minnesota to inquire about the 2008 election). Check out your own Secretary of State’s web site or area and find out what your state is using for this election and, most importantly, what they intend to use for the next presidential election. You may think, “Ahh…Borsch is just paranoid” but I’m certainly not alone and for good reason (just read some of the stuff at one site, BlackboxVoting, to get a feel for what’s going on and why this is such a big deal).

To ensure trust in voting is maintained (and, frankly, won back) and the integrity of our voting infrastructure to be above reproach (and thus faith in our democracy), it’s absolutely imperative that we ALL push our elected officials to ensure that any electronic apparatus put in place is thoroughly vetted, open source software and processes analyzed, and done so by independent organizations.

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  1. Marc Orchant on October 23, 2006 at 9:41 pm

    Steve – New Mexico is using paper ballots statewide this election and has ditched all electronic machines. Ballots are scanned at the polling place while you watch.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Connecting the Dots Podcast

Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.