More on Voting

Aaand, the election continues.

There are still 10 house races that haven't been called, a couple of which the Dems stand a good chance of flipping yet. However, the Florida-13th is turning out to be a special case. Whether by design or incompetance the voting there was flawed, and now Republicans are trying to steal the election there. Fittingly enough, it's Katherine Harris' old seat.

It's actually your pretty standard tale of electronic voting -- in one Democratic-leaning county a shocking 18,000 voters apparently cast no vote in the Congressional race, and without any paper trail there's no obvious way to check on that. Except that the local newspaper and Democratic campaign office received hundreds of complaints that voters couldn't find the race, or that their vote didn't seem to register on the machine. Unsurprisingly the Florida Secretary of State is refusing to investigate, so the local party is going to have to fight this one on their own. You can help them out here.

Which reminds me of something I saw a few days ago (via Lindsay) -- there's a company out there hawking a provably secure, open-source voting system for the modern age. They've got a cute little slideshow illustrating the basic idea, which is this: by borrowing some ideas from cryptography, it's possible to build a voting system that's nearly impossible to cheat. Once a ballot is voted it's impossible to know for whom it was cast, but the voters can prove to themselves that each vote was counted, the candidates can prove to themselves that the system is fair, and the head of elections can prove to everyone that the count is correct. If the new Congress pushes another round of voting reform (as it certainly should) systems like this should really be the gold standard against which proposals are weighed.

(Personally I think the technique is pretty neat, but since I don't really want to math out my audience I won't get into it unless you folks want me to.)

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on November 10, 2006 9:46 PM.

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