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The Cost of Electronic Voting 158

Wired's Threat Level blog is reporting on an analysis of the cost of electronic voting compared to traditional methods of vote tallying. A group named SaveOurVotes examined Maryland's budget allocations for elections during their switch from optical scanners to touch screens, and found that contrary to official claims, the cost was higher for e-voting (PDF) — much higher. "Prior to purchasing the touch-screen machines, about 19 of Maryland's 24 voting districts used optical-scan machines. SaveOurVotes examined those counties and compared the cost of the optical-scan equipment they previously used to the touch-screen machines they were forced to buy. The cost for most counties in this category increased 179 percent per voter on average. In at least one county, the cost increased 866 percent per voter — from a total cost of about $22,000 in 2001 to $266,000 in 2007."
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The Cost of Electronic Voting

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  • by Original Replica ( 908688 ) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @12:47PM (#22980638) Journal
    It is MUCH harder to tamper with paper ballots. You might be able to do a few areas, but to do it all while the other parties have people watching is hard. With most electronic voting systems, 3rd parties can't watch the "counting" easily.

    heck, I can't watch the "counting" easily for my own vote while I'm there in the voting booth. Most voting machines, including the manual pull-the-lever type, lack the most basic check: Verification by the voter doing the voting. The infamous "hanging chads" were a good example of this, the voter had no way to see if their vote was recorded correctly. This can only really be done with a piece of paper, written in English, that is inspected by the voter. With the pull-the-lever machines we have in NY, something as simple as a misplaced label would record every vote for a particular candidate incorrectly. With the touch-screen type, you push a button, see a "thank you for voting" screen and hope for the best. Niether the current system or any of teh proposed systems have any way for me to see the hard copy recording of my vote, so that I can see that it was correctly recorded. Touch screens could be handy for preliminary counts, but the real count should be of the receipts that the touch screens would print out, that the voter could check, and that could be easily verifiable by anyone of the voting public.
  • by kesuki ( 321456 ) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @01:04PM (#22980746) Journal
    "Paper, though energy intensive and wasteful to make,"

    the vast majority of papermills run entirely on burning the bark which is completely unusable in the production of paper. chainsaws, or robotic tree cutter/branch strippers use a lot of fuel, but remember 120 years ago, we used hand (usually 2 man, for big trees) saws, or axes, and mules etc, trees can be harvested on entirely biofuel, but this costs more than even the robotic tree cutter/branch strippers...

    paper from trees use a lot oh highly toxic chlorine to bleach the paper. in the old days acid was used, as acid was less toxic, but acid yellows and ruins paper, so they switched to bleach which has to be carefully reused until they eventually have to carefully dispose of it.

    As far as wasteful, really there is nothing wasteful about managed forestry, Japan has used managed forestry for almost 300 years with great success. Japan even has some very rare animals that have been preserved because they caught on to environmentalism when they realized they'd have no forests left if they kept cutting the old ones down and building cities and farms... although now cars are killing some of these rare creatures, posing a risk to their continued survival...

    the main problem with paper is you need to use chemicals to make it white. There are other plant fibers that can be made white with easier techniques, for instance kenaf. Hydrogen peroxide, an environmentally-safe bleaching agent that does not create dioxin, has been used with much success in the bleaching of kenaf.

    Trees are a slightly expensive biofuel, but it is a proven one, they wouldn't sell pellet burner or wood stoves to this date if they weren't able to at least in tree country compete with propane and heating oil in markets where they just don't have pipelines to homes..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 06, 2008 @02:20PM (#22981258)
    In the last presidential election I voted on:
    a President
    a US Senator
    a US Representative
    a Governor
    a State Senator
    a State Representative
    a State Supreme Court Justice
    a State Treasurer
    a State Auditor General
    a Mayor
    2 City Council members
    3 City Charter alterations
    2 State Constitutional ammendments
    2 School board members
    and some other stuff I can't remember

    And that's about par for the course. (At least since I've moved I no longer need to vote for the local Coroner and Health Inspector.)

    How many things do you vote for each election?

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.