National “Computer Ate My Vote” Day

By on July 13, 2004 has declared today National “Computer Ate My Vote” Day in order to raise awareness regarding the vast numbers of completely paperless electronic voting machines that are going in across the country. and the Verified Voting Foundation champion reliable and publicly verifiable elections in the United States.

We advocate the use of voter-verified paper ballots (VVPBs) for all elections in the United States, so voters can inspect individual permanent records of their ballots before they are cast and so meaningful recounts may be conducted. We also insist that electronic voting equipment and software be open to public scrutiny and that random, surprise recounts be conducted on a regular basis to audit election equipment.

I’m all for computer automation, but as a programmer, I know all to well the problems that can arise, and completely electronic voting scares the bejeesus out of me, especially given the fact that the leading vendor, Diebold, has a pretty bad track record. is taking a pretty wise approach to this; they’re not against all electronic voting machines, they just insist that the machines leave a paper trail. Otherwise, the fact that the whole election hinges on a few database entries will leave us with a lot more problems than some dangling chads.