Why Politicians Shouldn’t Make Technical Decisions

Maryland is busily adopting Diebold’s computerized voting system despite a study showing the system to have massive security problems. The study — by researchers with Johns Hopkins’ Information Security Institute — found numerous problems.

They concluded that the system was so flawed that voters could vote multiple times, that ATM-like “Smart Cards” such as those used in Maryland could easily be copied and that an insider could program the machine to register votes incorrectly.

Are they really just figuring out that computerized voting can be troublesome? As it happens, no:

In 2001, four out of the five members of the technical group that was asked to recommend to the state which electronic voting system to buy instead recommended against buying any at all. The state ignored the advice.

Paper may be old, but at least it’s auditable. More coverage of the same study here.

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