Last updated on: 1/27/2017 10:28:46 AM PST

Do Electronic Voting Machines Improve the Voting Process?

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PRO (yes) Comments (10)

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  • +7 +16 -9 Steven Campbell Sep. 28, 2011
    "There is an opportunity to sort out all of the vote rigging and discrepancies by a combination of identity checking and voting intention. These machines should be made to resemble an automatic bank teller, secure, fast and checkable."
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    • 0 0 0 PHAB2 Mar. 25, 2018
      "Banks know your account numbers. They can contact you if there appears to be a problem. And sometimes they just end up paying the price of bank fraud. The secret ballot means your vote can't be confirmed, and the cost of voting fraud can't be measured in dollars. Invalid argument."
    • 0 0 0 TheCorrector Feb. 4, 2015
      "Vote rigging and "conspiracy" is in fact aided by these machines, not helped. Easy shouldn't apply to the voting process, it should be checked by humans several times, not only the tabulation of the votes, but also the transfer of them. These machines can be manipulated both internally and remotely, and in fact were designed to do so. It's also another expense we don't need, in support of yet another monopolistic industry."
    • 0 0 0 robellecalderon Feb. 22, 2014
      "I disagree to Electronic Voting Machines especially here in out country. Vote buying is rumpant. I guess the most effective tool in elections is conscience. People can mess up and hit the wrong thing.

      Robelle Calderon"
  • +1 +12 -11 Bob Nalbach Nov. 15, 2011
    "The process is solid. I do beleive that online voting would be better but this is a good second choice."
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  • 0 0 0 Fred Nov. 17, 2018
    "II would think that voting machines could be programmed to scan ballots and sound an alarm (or print out a notice)before the voter leaves so as to detect, and thereby allow corrections by the voter, if there should be any over or under votes or other inappropriate marks. Seems like a simple fix to avoid what is going on in Florida."
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  • 0 0 0 Alon Apr. 24, 2018
    "in con it says they can be hacked in less than 2 hours well not
    Just be a hacker it has to be trained and he can not say
    I need a hacking lesson because if someone does not know
    they can tell the police and he will go to Jail . so he can not get trained so he can not hack."
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  • -1 +1 -2 John R. Patrick Jan. 31, 2017
    "It seems the opponents of Internet or electronic voting are comparing them to a perfect system we will never have. The comparison should be made with the system we have today, which is old fashioned, inaccurate, and disenfranchises millions. Meanwhile, Canada is moving to Internet voting to increase participation and convenience."
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  • -2 +1 -3 Jim Kapsis Feb. 26, 2015
    "Although thousands of activists have sprung from the Bush- Gore fiasco called an election, none of them seems to have concentrated on the procurement of a voting machine, which could work.
    Many opinions on how they should work exist, but actually, no one has attempted to make one work with the necessary ingredients, with the exception of a company called VotRite. Someone once said, "The difference between Genius and Stupidity is that Genius has its limits". It appears that there is no limit to trashing something and achieving nothing.
    The right to vote routinely championed as one of the hallmarks of the American experience--but the ability to vote is another matter entirely.
    A company called VotRite has made the act of voting as simple and as seamless as possible, with the latest touchscreen technology.
    Yet incredibility, New York politicians decided it would be easier to bring back to New York municipalities timeworn, unreliable lever machines rather than to take the time to look.
    Its not hard to find if you look. For the last few years the voting systems currently used nationwide by such private sectors as Universities, Unions, Condos, Condominiums, law enforcement groups, and many other organization are call VotRite."
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  • -2 +2 -4 Ken Magnuson Jun. 26, 2014
    "I like the voting machines that we use in Sacramento, Ca. We have Scantron type forms where you darken the circle with a pencil. The form is then fed into a reading machine and electronically counted. I don't know if you count this as electronic voting, but I would recommend it. After you vote, there is an electronic count of your vote and a paper vote that election officials can peruse if they need to. I believe one electronic recount is done free for any candidate that requests it. A second hand recount can be requested, but the requester must pay for the cost of that recount.
    With this system, computer hacking is minimized, and power outages are fairly unimportant because votes can be scanned and recounted at any time. Polling places need only paper forms and pencils. A scanner in the polling place is optional."
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    • +1 +1 0 [email protected] Mar. 25, 2018
      "This is actually a paper ballot with an optical scan, the best option resently available. (Spring, 2018) This is not an electronic voting machine, and you're lucky!"
  • -4 +1 -5 Vote ForMe Aug. 5, 2015
    "Yes, vending machines give voters freedom of choice. A voter can choose a bag of potato chips today but tomorrow they may choose peanuts."
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  • -6 +1 -7 Evaclair Nov. 14, 2014
    "When Barak Obama ran for president, many republicans tried to ruin the system of voting just because of his appearance. Thats why it is better to leave the counting and sorting to a machine so you don't have to go through all the difficulties of republicans ruining everything."
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  • -18 +2 -20 tae Sep. 14, 2012
    "yes because people aint got to do alot of stuff it makes it easyer"
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CON (no) Comments (19)

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  • +14 +19 -5 James Apr. 28, 2011
    "Transparency from beginning to end should be the standard and the guiding star the defines the mechanisms of any voting process. Transparency for the average literate American voter. Keeping transparency as the overarching priority eliminates virtually all electromechanical and computer based systems. It remains that paper ballots marked by the voter, counted at the precinct level on the day of the election, and followed with a zealous chain of custody is the system of voting that the average American can participate in and understand from beginning to end. Computers are esoteric with only a handful of people having any true understanding of their hard and software. Computers and software are forever contradictory to the concept of transparency. Keep it simple stupid, vote on paper and make it federal law that vote manipulation is a felony that will have you spending the rest of your life in a federal prison. Bottom line, always hold any voting system up against the transparency standard. Simple is almost always better, and in the case of the voting process it is inviolate."
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  • +10 +13 -3 Chuck Nov. 14, 2012
    "There is NO accountability. Once you push the "Cast Vote" button - it's gone. A good programmer can alter the number of voters, and the number of votes for anybody that corrupt money wants to win. Granted paper ballots are also counted by electronic machines, but the paper ballots can be recounted manually if challenged. Electronic voting machines are a farce. You could walk in, close the curtain, fart silently, and accomplish just about as much. Smells, but you can't tell who did it. Don't you see a parallel analogy here? Transparency? Unfortunately 100%."
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  • +7 +10 -3 SSonral Aug. 6, 2012
    "Who owns the machines and controls the read outs?"
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    • 0 0 0 Lacroix Jul. 22, 2016
      "A George Soros Owned entity"
  • +6 +7 -1 whelen Mar. 15, 2013
    "NO! especially here in philippines. vote buying is rumpant. I guess the most effective tool in elections is CONSCIENCE."
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  • +5 +10 -5 Ricky Apr. 28, 2011
    "I do not trust the electronic voting machines. I believe the individual ballots are more correct with less chance of corruption"
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  • +4 +8 -4 Rosy Sep. 26, 2012
    "The DRE machines fail to secure the actual software that counts/tabulates the voters intent. These machines will boot off an inserted memory card (installing hacked code) then, having removed the memory card, the DRE machine will then boot the correct code completely erasing any evidence of hacked code. While preserving the 'hacked results'. These DRE machines can never be assured, especially when the application code is NOT OPEN SOURCE CODE. The software code is proprietary and cannot be assure either accurate or secure. You may press the 'A' key, but you cannot ever be assure that the machine didn't record a 'B'.

    These DRE machine were designed to be hacked and lack even basic security or open source review.

    Any recount or audit without a physical paper trail is basically a meaningless exercise."
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  • +4 +7 -3 robert bristow-johns Sep. 5, 2012
    "Pure electronic voting machines, where the record of the vote resides solely as a microscopic portion of electric charge in DRAM or as a magnetic bubble on a hard-disk are inherently unverifiable to the voter that his/her intended vote is recorded faithfully. We can recount this over and over again until the cows come home, but nothing will change that fact.

    The most secure method is that of optical scan ballots where the names of the candidates appear on the very same physical instrument that the voter marks. In contrast, the punch-card ballots could possibly get mis-aligned in the voting machine jig and the voter could punch the hole in the jig for Candidate A, yet the hole on the card for Candidate B is pressed.

    Optical scan ballots have a natural paper trail that can be *meaningfully* recounted either by a different machine or manually.

    DRE technology seems to be solving a problem that doesn't exist and, itself, introduces many more problems with the security of our vote. We can afford to kill a few trees to protect the integrity of our governmental elections."
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  • +4 +11 -7 Regina Apr. 28, 2011
    "This is a very interesting site. I was extremely distressed that the folks speaking "PRO" on the issue of Electronic Voting Machine accuracy did not really answer the question. Sure, the machines can prevent "hanging chads" and such things as over-votes and under-votes, but....... they did not speak to the issue of whether or not the votes are actually recorded (and thus tabulated) as each voter intended. To me, that is truly what "accuracy" means. Would it do any good to go back to the people who responded "PRO" on the accuracy of the electronic voting machines and ask them to speak to whether or not the machines can be trusted to ACCURATELY record and count the votes? When I worked for an accountant years ago, we always created a paper trail when using the calculator. I can't imagine an accountant (especially dealing with the IRS) getting away with saying "Just trust me" without having the documentation to back up their figures."
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    • 0 0 0 PHAB2 Mar. 25, 2018
      "Thank you Regina for understanding this!"
  • +3 +4 -1 lecardo rian Nov. 17, 2013
    "I disagree with this way of voting because there could be error on picking candidates."
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  • +2 +3 -1 Rachel Sep. 20, 2015
    "I think it's a bad idea because
    1. It's a waste of money to buy the machines.
    2. People could hack the system (bad new)."
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  • +2 +3 -1 Almarc13 Jun. 17, 2013
    "I monitored the Bush v. Gore "hanging chad" election in Ft Myers, Fl. Election officials in Collier County practiced on the new Diebold machines. But the machines were not zeroed out when they were through. The system registered 50 votes when the polls just opened. Now way to tell for which candidate or to correct the count. Fifty votes was greater than the difference between Bush and Gore when the US Supreme Court stopped the vote count and appointed Bush President. Paper ballots filled out by the individual voters is the only accurate way for voting and providing evidence for a recount. Also, when large numbers of voters are waiting to vote, 100 voters using paper ballots can vote in the same time that it takes machine voters to cast their ballots because the paper users are all working at the same time while the machine users are waiting in line one after another to get to a machine. (Yes, I timed it.)

    Election officials are appointed by partisan politicians, and they are not neutral. Honest elections require very close monitoring by highly motivated representatives of each candidate. The massive sums spent on elections in the US provide large incentives to cheat.

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  • +2 +3 -1 Mark Meyer Feb. 10, 2013
    "Anyone with even a modest knowledge of information systems will understand how easily and such system can be compromised and abused for nefarious means. Selection of our elected leaders should not hinge on reliance on any system open to such easy fraud that may be difficult or impossible to detect. Using a paper ballot with an electronic reader, such as is already done in many states, is a best compromise method. It is accurate, can be manually audited, and is relatively inexpensive as only one or two readers is needed per voting precinct."
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  • +2 +6 -4 Sariah Feb. 23, 2012
    "People can mess up and hit the wrong thing."
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  • +1 +2 -1 TheCorrector Feb. 4, 2015
    "Voting machines are unreliable. Voting machines make it too easy to rig an election. Hand-counting of votes, and double-checked again, for each district, is the only way to go to ensure accuracy. As is shuffling numbers around electronically makes it too easy to add a digit here or there, and many of these machines can be manipulated remotely to produce any result you want. There is also the real hardship of paying for these machines, keeping them maintained and up-to-date, and using electricity to run them, all of which cost money. It also doesn't help that 1 or 2 companies have a monopoly on the production and sale of these unnecessary machines."
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  • +1 +6 -5 Steven Campbell Sep. 28, 2011
    "At the moment I fewel these machines for voting are too insecure, are open to manipulation and fraud and should be scraped for upgrade. Many of the people who I spoke to regard the machines as already rigged to favour the incumbents."
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  • +1 +7 -6 Mary Aug. 20, 2011
    "The right to representation through voting is one of the most basic principles of democracy. It is too important to outsource to corporations with no verifiability. Without trust that comes from transparency and accountability, the very legitimacy of our leaders will be in question."
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  • 0 +1 -1 PHAB2 Mar. 25, 2018
    "I find it odd that a lot of the PRO comments come from manufacturers websites, and many of those manufacturers no longer make plain old electronic voting machines. They may make touchscreens that print out a marked paper ballot, but the Election Assistance Commission doesn't even certify plain old DREs anymore. That, if nothing else, should tell you that electronic voting machines are a bad idea."
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  • -2 0 -2 ceb Mar. 16, 2017
    "Absolutely not, a paper trail would help but not that much. A paper trail and choice of paper ballots."
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  • -3 +1 -4 g89dsw Dec. 24, 2014
    "Are you kidding me! what happened to check and balance?
    One can program a computer to flip votes, not count votes or any other operation to influence the outcome. Hanging tabs would be more accurate that a machine programed by who knows. We need to return to in person paper ballots or punch cards for counting convenience. Get real. Remember the tea party chant, " We going to take our country back","
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