I've posted about the deplorable, hackable state of electronic voting machines before
. Well, today, you may have already noticed that every blog you read is pointing you at the EFF page on the new IEEE standard committee for voting machines.
IEEE set up this standards committee as a reaction to the recent (cough)
"irregularities", and what it should be doing is describing a way to make voting machines safe. Instead, it apparently has been co-opted by the voting machine manufacturers, who are codifying their current behavior: making the standard say that they should continue doing exactly what they're doing today.
The standard this committee produces will likely form the basis of the US goverment's voting-machine purchases (as well as those of governments abroad), and if there are holes in the standard today, they will be biting our democracies on the ass for decades. There's never been a clearer demonstration that "architecture is politics."
So go there and fill out EFF's petition.
Relatedly, here's another article about the current state of voting machines. It's somewhat more shrill than other articles on the topic I've read, but it covers exactly the same ground.
The American vote-count is controlled by three major corporate players -- Diebold, ES&S, and Sequoia -- with a fourth, Science Applications International Corporation, coming on strong. These companies have been given billions of dollars by the Bush Regime to complete a sweeping computerization of voting machines nationwide by the 2004 election. These glitch-riddled systems -- many using "touch-screen" technology that leaves no paper trail at all -- are almost laughably open to manipulation, according to corporate whistleblowers and computer scientists at Stanford, Johns Hopkins and other universities.
The technology had a trial run in the 2002 midterm elections. [...] A Florida Democrat who lost a similarly "glitched" local election went to court to have the computers examined -- but the case was thrown out by a judge who ruled that the innards of America's voting machines are the "trade secrets" of the private companies who make them.
Does it seem like a good idea to you that the very mechanism of democracy be controlled by a "trade secret" funded by the controlling presidential administration? Me neither.