Opinion Letters

Just say no to Internet Voting 0

Lisa Pease

This is in response to this article: http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2252381

As someone who has been both a computer programmer and a two-time presidential campaign staffer, I urge your readers NOT to embrace any form of voting that doesn't have a paper ballot the voter can mark directly and that can be recounted.

Internet voting sounds so wonderful and easy. You can do it in your pajamas. No waiting in line. No getting in late to work.

But as a programmer, I must caution you. Not only do programmers make mistakes, some of them can be bought. There really are people in this world capable of stealing your vote when you cast it electronically. And having paper ballots alone isn't the answer either, because that ballot can be scanned into a computer where the programmer can decide what to show you vs. how to record your vote. A programmer can show you onscreen that you voted for Paul Bunyan, while recording in the background that you voted for Jack the Ripper. And without a recount of the paper record, no one would ever know your vote had been changed.

Please, good people, do not fall for the sweet seduction of technology on something as important as your vote. From my various stints in politics I assure you, people will stop at nothing to get their candidate in office.

Instead, your readers should be informed of Rep. Rush Holt's pending legislation, HR 2894 (http://holt.house.gov/voting.shtml), which would require that all ballots be on paper, and that a manual hand-recount of a statistically significant portion of the ballots be conducted to ensure the electronic tally matches the human tally. Anything less is asking for your vote to be stolen.

Lisa Pease

Electronic voting activist


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