In the Absurd Argument Department
A Damaging Paper Chase In Voting
By Timothy J. Ryan
Saturday, September 8, 2007; Page A15
When early jet aircraft crashed, Congress did not mandate that all planes remain propeller-driven. But this is the kind of reactionary thinking behind two bills that would require that all voting machines used in federal elections produce a voter-verifiable paper record. These bills -- the Ballot Integrity Act (S. 1487), and the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (H.R. 811) -- are understandable backlashes to the myriad problems encountered in the implementation of electronic voting.
Paperless Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) machines, those where votes are entered into computers and stored only in computer memory banks, have encountered numerous failures and no longer inspire public trust. The response proposed in these Senate and House bills is for all such machines to produce paper receipts that voters can examine to ensure that their votes were correctly cast. The goal -- a doub…