Elections in the News

Voting Technology Problems

If it’s true that 90% of votes will be cast or counted by computer, it can be no surprise that there are a few technological glitches along the way.  This isn’t the first, or probably the last, report of problems with internet routers being down, making it impossible to connect to voter registration verification databases.  At the same time, the constantly changing voting technology makes it hard for even experienced voters to feel comfortable with this year’s technology du jour, an issue of special concern in Florida with their large population of senior citizens.

More important than these problems, however, may be the planning.  Take the number of machines available for example. Figures across states seem inconsistent: In PA there’s 1 machine for every 300 voters; in VA, there’s one for every 750.  In Arizona, they have learned from past poll worker problems with ballot scanning technology, and now they have developed much more specific policies for closing polls and getting the electronic ballots securely to ballot receiving stations to be downloaded.  This year, if any equipment isn’t returned properly and timely, the responsible poll workers will even be tracked down by sheriff’s deputies.

It’s not surprising that fears continue to be raised regarding voting technology.  Although there are occasional problems, at this point there have been relatively few.  On the other hand, when you hear about problems like this, you can’t help but think that maybe internet voting wouldn’t be such a bad idea!

Inés and Janell