New York Times Editorial, June 13, 2004
The New York Times compares touchscreen voting to gambling, and finds that gamblers can bet with more confidence than touchscreen voters, since oversight of the gambling industry is more rigorous than the e-voting industry. The editorial names six ways in which gamblers are more protected than voters.
1. The state has access to all gambling software.....Electronic voting machine makers, by contrast, say their software is a trade secret, and have resisted sharing it with the states that buy their machines.
2. The software on gambling machines is constantly being spot-checked. Board inspectors show up unannounced at casinos with devices that let them compare the computer chip in a slot machine to the one on file.... A surreptitious software change on a voting machine would be far less likely to be detected.
3. There are meticulous, constantly updated standards for gambling machines....Voting machine standards are out of date and inadequate.
4. Manufacturers are intensively scrutinized before they are licensed to sell gambling software or hardware....When it comes to voting machine manufacturers, all a company needs to do to enter the field is persuade an election official to buy its equipment.
5. The lab that certifies gambling equipment has an arms-length relationship with the manufacturers it polices, and is open to inquiries from the public.....The federal labs that certify voting equipment are profit-making companies. They are chosen and paid by voting machine companies, a glaring conflict of interest....Wyle Laboratories, one of the largest testers of voting machines, does not answer questions about its voting machine work.
6. When there is a dispute about a machine, a gambler has a right to an immediate investigation....If voters believe a voting machine has manipulated their votes, in most cases their only recourse is to call a board of elections number, which may well be busy, to lodge a complaint that may or may not be investigated.
....the truth is, gamblers are getting the best technology, and voters are being given systems that are cheap and untrustworthy by comparison. There are many questions yet to be resolved about electronic voting, but one thing is clear: a vote for president should be at least as secure as a 25-cent bet in Las Vegas.