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Posted by Byte yer behind on February 10, 2004 at 16:14:18:
In Reply to: Re: Electronic voting posted by Byte on February 10, 2004 at 14:44:21:
Yes we trust airtraffic control systems - but hey guess what - ATC's still use paper and cardboard when 'stacking' planes in their area - hence they have a paper backup should all the electronic systems fail.
I don't trust my bank - and you'd be a fool if you did - I keep a record of all the transactions that I make with my bank and besides if you ring up to query any items on your credit card bill they'll always ask you 'did you check your paper receipts' (again a backup is in place) !!!
Most mission critical systems have duplicates running in parallel (heck we even run mirrored disks on mirrored servers in our business as we can't afford the downtime), airplanes have backups for backups, the space shuttle had backups for backups for backups for the active systems . . . okay they're not paper based but the systems within these vehicles that's used to track faults and failures (i.e. the black box) are physical recordings of data (not paper but the next best thing).
The GB election was a fiasco but it was not an electronic voting system - paper cards were punched - if they'd had electronic voting in the US for that election there'd have been no backup to show which way people had voted.
What happens if the polling stations, booths, machines or cartridges in Ireland are exposed to a large electromagnetic source ? I'm not a member of the flat earth society and I'm in no way a Luddite but in all my years of systems analysis we were always thought that if a paper system works better than an electronic system then you recommend the paper based system.
The new voting system appears to be seriously flawed and when there's someone making money out of it (i.e. the company providing the voting machines and software to the dept of environment) then you should always be wary that the process will be done correctly.