July 26, 2003

How did they do that?

In my previous entry "Why Are We Willing To Bet Democracy To Gain A Few Bucks?" (July 20, 2003) I raised concerns about electronic voting systems that lack independent audit trails.

Over the last week a report came out of Johns Hopkins demonstrating several vulnerabilities of the Diebold implementation of one such system.

That system, like so many others, lacks an independent audit trail and places its entire trust on the software and on the polling place officials.

I noticed today an item in the Washington Post - "Voting Machine Study Divides Md. Officials, Experts"

In that article there is the following paragraph:

Margaret A. Jurgensen, director of elections in Montgomery County, said that voters loved the machines. "The general election went off perfectly," she said.

My question is simple - How in the world, in the absence of an independent audit trail, does Ms. Jurgensen know that "The general election went off perfectly"?

As far as I can tell, she's simply asserting this on nothing more substantial than blind faith and has no audit trail upon which she can base such a claim.

I invite her to demonstrate the concrete materials upon which she has been able to come to the conclusion that "The general election went off perfectly".

Posted by karl at July 26, 2003 12:50 PM