Friday, November 03, 2006

Hacking The Vote

Now that we're only a few days away from the mid-term elections here in the US, I've been thinking about the voting process - and the effects of technology - and what it could mean for the upcoming election.

Then I found out about a documentary that HBO is going to air called "Hacking Democracy" - that takes a look at Diebold (the manufacturer of the majority of e-voting machines). From some of the reviews on the net (I haven't seen it myself) - I take it that it's not a very... ummm... flattering story.

That brings up another point: There is no standardized "platform" for voting. There are a bunch of companies and they all have their own security, software, and hardware. They all market to different states and even counties.

Who the hell is going to do on-site tech support for technically challenged voters? If you've ever voted (and those of you over 18 in the US had BETTER vote!) - you know that most of the volunteers in polling places are older than dirt and have the tech savvy of a 3 year old. It's the blind leading the blind.

Whenever you have crappy technology (the Diebold voting system was hacked with a $100 card from the Internet in 60 seconds), a lack of adequate tech support, lack of standards, no accountability, and a tight race - that can mean only one thing.

Lawyers. Lots of em.

Even though the election is on Tuesday, I predict that 90% of all the races won't be decided for a couple of weeks until all the lawyers are done with their cluster f***king.

In the end it will come down to a judge to decide who wins a race, and not the people that are supposed to be represented - and that sucks.

Thought for today: If you're a geek and your local voting place is all-electronic - take the day off and help out!

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