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Comment Re:What's needed now (Score 0, Insightful) 341

You cannot blame congress for this one. Voting systems, or even voting methods, are not federally mandated because this is NOT a function of the federal government. Article 2, section 1 of the constitution reads: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors..." In other words, the framers ducked the issue! As a result, 50 states are free to "in such a manner...direct" the voting for their electoral college representatives. Which means that there is no way to legislatively mandate VVPAT or any other technology, for what is interpreted as a "states rights" issue.

Secondly, there is no trick to creating security voting systems--but there is also little profit. This is a tiny, tiny marketplace, with a tiny profit margin, in which no one (vendor, official, or citizen) really wants to pay the high costs of security--be it better systems, better proceedures, or better wages for voting judges. Who else but the retired have the time or desire to spend working a polling site for minimum wage? Who would pay for a bonded courier to get the pieces delivered to and from the site in a guaranteed tamper-proof process? Who would pay to develop for a completely open code, if they could not guarantee a profit? And who should pay the lab costs for the review and certification of the open code, to ensure that it meets necessary standardss?

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PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5

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