Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Machine Politics

By Dan Baum, Playboy magazine, September 2004

Here's an issue of Playboy you really can read "just for the articles" -- especially Dan Baum's article, "Machine Politics", featured in the September 2004 issue. Here's a blurb about the story:

"After the Bush-Gore election, three Florida counties tossed out their punch-card ballots and replaced them with touch-screen computers. They've since been used in local elections, with unsettling results: Machines have crashed, votes have been lost, and voters have been turned away. In the November presidential contest, one in four people across the country will vote electronically. Are our election problems only going to get worse?"

Unfortunately, the article is not available on the magazine's web site so if you want to read it you'll have to get the magazine. Baum's article features some great commentary and quotes. I particularly like this comment from Michael Wertheimer of RABA Technologies:

"Fundamental infrastructure in this country is all regulated. We look to the Food and Drug Administration to keep our food safe, to the Federal Communications Commission to watch the airwaves, to the Federal Aviation Administration for air travel. For some reason, we don't do that for voting, which is the most important thing we do."

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