Saturday, April 24, 2004

NYT Editorial: Making Votes Count: A Compromised Voting System

New York Times Editorial, Saturday, April 24, 2004


A state advisory panel has urged Mr. Shelley to bar the use of one model of Diebold machine whose certification was improper; 15,000 of them are in place in four California counties. Based on the two reports, this is the correct course. Diebold's record does not inspire the sort of confidence voters deserve. Equally important, banning these machines is the only way to make it clear that the certification laws must be followed scrupulously.

The harder question Mr. Shelley faces is whether to ban all electronic voting machines that do not produce a paper trail, as many voting experts, and some state legislators, are urging him to do. His obligation to ensure that voting machines function properly and inspire voter confidence argues for a total ban. To do otherwise is to risk Election Day meltdowns, and another presidential election in which voters lack faith in the outcome.

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