By John Gideon on 1/22/2008, 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of

A group of political scientists from the Universities of Maryland, Rochester and Michigan have done a study and written a book to let us know that touch screen voting leaves the voter satisfied and confident. They have decided that most critics have been focusing on the wrong issues. The wrong issues? They begin by blaming recent election problems on the inability of the voter to correctly cast their ballot. According to the information in their press release they seem to ignore ballot programming errors, voting machines that will not start on election morning and shut down on polls closing. They ignore vote switching and voting machines that are supposed to be accessible but will not allow most voters with disabilities to vote without assistance. They ignore over 18,000 undervotes in Sarasota Co Florida and 108 blank ballots cast in a one-contest election in Florence Co South Carolina. It’s not security so much as the problem is poor, amateurish design of voting machines made cheaply and sold expensively. They also found that usability concerns cannot be addressed by adding a paper trail. No argument here but no one has been claiming that they would be. The paper trail is not for usability but for verifiability. ...

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