When you start talking about the integrity of an election, you're getting into third-world anarchy territory, but that's just where we're headed with touch-screen electronic voting machines. The NY Times has a lengthy piece about the glitches and crashes of these machines and how they can throw an election into doubt. The article focuses on the glitches and crashes and downplays the more serious problem of how hackers could intentionally throw an election, but it's a good read. And now, the mainstream media can go back to ignoring the story until after the next election when we're left to wonder (yet again) how those exit polls could have been so wrong.
Mark Crispin Miller's News from Underground blog and the Brad Blog are good places to go to for more information. The topic of electronic voting machines comes up often at both sites. Two sites devoted exclusively to the topic are Bev Harris's Black Box Voting and the unaffiliated Black Box Voting. (Bev Harris's site is blackboxvoting.org, the other site is blackboxvoting.com. I haven't delved into either site enough to recommend one over the other. I just use Bev Harris's name to differentiate between the two sites with the same name.)
Here, in my neck of the woods, Georgia acted quickly after the 2000 Florida debacle to adopt touch-screen voting machines statewide. They haven't been near as prompt in adopting paper backups or other safeguards. For a while, they had an unshakeable faith in the integrity of the machines. Tennessee still uses a variety of machines, but according to a recent story in the Knoxville News Sentinel, only two of Tennessee's 95 counties keep a paper trail of voters' ballots.
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