Thursday, January 17, 2008

Post Election Audits - - A Great Idea

Computerworld reports: If you hold an election anywhere in the U.S. today, is it even possible to tally the ballots and arrive at vote totals that won't be disputed by critics somewhere?

Welcome to the world of electronic voting, 2008-style.

But there might be a relatively simple answer to much of the confusion and frustration, the increasing allegations of voting irregularities and the apparent growing distrust of our e-voting systems around the nation.

Advocates call it a random, mandatory audit.

At its essence, an audit is simply a postelection review of a random group of e-voting machines from voting precincts in a state, along with a hand count of the accompanying paper ballots or voter-verified paper records to be sure that the paper records and the machine counts coincide exactly.

By doing so, election officials could ensure that the machines are properly recording the votes. If everything jibes, supporters say, then elections could be trusted again and criticisms about accuracy could be addressed with verifiable facts.

Who could possibly be against such a reasonable idea?