I am not the type of person who is prone to paranoid conspiracy. I do not think the Bilderberg group is plotting to use these machines to change our elections, or anything like that. What does concern me is that the possible risks are far greater than the benefits. Let’s break down the pros and cons:
- It takes less time to count ballets, giving us faster results
- It can be much more user friendly than paper ballets, giving us more accurate election results
- Certain interfaces can be confusing, especially for people that are less tech savvy
- The machines cost more money
- The danger of hackers changing election results
The last item on the cons list is what alarms me. We have been assured that these machines are secure and can not be hacked. I'm not buying it. Anyone that has followed the news closely over the past few years, can recall multiple instances, in which supposedly secure networks were hacked. I would not put it past certain nations to attempt to change election result by hacking electronic voting machines. There are also plenty a malicious individuals who would take great delight in such a despicable deed.
In the past it was quite difficult to tamper with an election to the point of changing the outcome. It is difficult to change a million paper votes without several people noticing. A paper ballet leaves physical tangible evidence. With electronic voting machines, one stroke of the keyboard could change everything. The possibility exists for large scale tampering previously unseen in free nations.
As I type this, I'm sitting at my top of the line desktop with multiple monitors. I'm listening to my I-pod and looking at photos from my new digital camera. I'm far from being a person afraid of technology. I think our elections are far too important to risk the outcome. The increased convenience is far less than the possible danger. The paper ballet has worked well in multiple nations for generations. It is absurd to put the system at risk, because of a few isolated problems. Now is the time, to write your local election officials and ask for a paper ballet.