Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Go to the new DM blog.

A Hurt Democracy Is Worse Than A Hurt Back

For some reason, I woke up with some major back pain at 3:41 this AM, so I got up in the hopes that sitting might help. It's not working yet, but I've got some Vitamin I (ibuprofen) in me and hopefully that will kick in sometime. Meanwhile, I certainly don't feel like reviewing test questions, so I might as well blog.

And what do I find in the NYTimes, but this gem from the ever shrill* Krugman:

Georgia - where Republicans scored spectacular upset victories in the 2002 midterm elections - relies exclusively on Diebold machines. To be clear, though there were many anomalies in that 2002 vote, there is no evidence that the machines miscounted. But there is also no evidence that the machines counted correctly. You see, Diebold machines leave no paper trail.

Representative Rush Holt of New Jersey, who has introduced a bill requiring that digital voting machines leave a paper trail and that their software be available for public inspection, is occasionally told that systems lacking these safeguards haven't caused problems. "How do you know?" he asks.

Yeah, how do we know? As I've discussed before, it's unconscionable that there's no paper trail with these voting machines to backup our precious franchise. Krugman does an excellent job here, particularly tying this issue to the recent theft of Democratic files from a server.

The scariest point he makes is that the mainstream press is treating the whole thing as a technology story, not as something political. I'd wager that most people upon reading a headline about "computer voting" will turn the page to read Mallard Fillmore and miss just how important this story really is.

Without printed ballots, how do we know there are no problems with these machines? It is extremely worrisome that there is resistance on the part of Diebold to open up its code to public scrutiny. One of the maxims in the cryptography world is "don't trust a secret encryption algorithm." It's simple: you want to make sure your code is hackproof, you release it into the wild so the hackers, and security professionals, and everybody can take their best shot at breaking it.

Further, democracy relies on transparency. When a company tells us we don't have the right to inspect that which forms the basis of our voting franchise, you should be troubled to the core. This has the potential to mortally wound our democracy. I'm glad the word is starting to get out, but is it too little, too late?


* Apologies to Atrios. 

June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 April 2007


Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards

A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.

For more about me, go to You can also e-mail me at

My Weather Stations
Newark WX/Webcam
Fletcher WX

Donate to my Fox lawsuit legal fund (via Paypal or Amazon). Alternately, you can buy me stuff off my Amazon Wish List.

check to have all links open new windows

Boot Bush! Donate to the DNC today
Donate to the DNC

Single Donations: 2 = $170
Sustainer Donations: 1 = $40
Recurring Donations: 0 = $0
Total Donations: 3 = $210

Contribute to John Kerry

Total Donations: 13
Total Dollars: $750
Average Donation: $57.69

Give to MoveOn


Dean is still the messenger.
We are still the message.

My goodness! Rummy loves
these fair and balanced blogs:

The Coalition

Cairo wonders when I'll be fair
and balanced and go throw sticks...

Listed on Blogwise

Powered by Blogger