Voting: A Touchy Subject (9/21/06) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Voting: A Touchy Subject (9/21/06)

One of the basics of democracy is the concept of "one person, one vote." But the growing movement in many counties and states toward the use of "touch-screen" voting machines troubles me.

I'm not suggesting these machines represent a grand conspiracy to guarantee certain election results. But it's undeniable these machines are, basically, nothing more than computers engineered for a specific purpose.

And we all know computers aren't exactly impervious to error or malicious attack.

Of course, some problems are inevitable no matter what system we use. Most Kentucky voters fill out paper ballots that are scanned and counted by machines, and those machines can certainly make mistakes.

The difference is, those errors are reversible. If a recount is called for, the paper ballots themselves can be counted by hand, to see if they match the machine's total.

But in the case of touch-screen machines, there is no paper trail. Which means even one well-placed hacker in the right place with the right skills could turn a loser into a winner - especially in a tight race - without leaving any evidence at all.

I know many safeguards are built in to keep that from happening. But jeopardizing the integrity of American elections isn't worth any risk - no matter how remote -- just for the sake of false convenience.

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.

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