Few want to even think about it, but the 2012 US election result could be clouded by problems with voting machines … again. Twelve years after the Florida punch card debacle in which thousands of votes went uncounted in the crucial state, some experts cite similar concerns about voting technology. “I’m not sure we’ve made forward progress since 2000,” said Douglas Jones, a University of Iowa computer scientist and co-author of a book published this year, “Broken Ballots.” “We’ve put a tremendous effort into changing the voting systems, but in many cases we’ve discarded systems too quickly and replaced them with systems that we haven’t examined enough.”
Jones said technology used on some vote machines is now close to a decade old and should be updated. And some systems have security flaws or may not allow for recounts or audits, he noted.
“Whenever an election is close all of the weaknesses become apparent,” he said. “I expect there will be some states where the margin is so close that people will raise questions about irregularities.”
A frequent target for critics is the use of touchscreen voting machines, which lack a paper backup. Around 25 percent of Americans are expected to use paperless electronic voting, according to the Verified Voting Foundation.
A report earlier this year by two activist groups and the Rutgers University School of Law said systems used in 20 states were either “inadequate” or needed improvement. That includes 16 states which use paperless machines in some or all jurisdictions. Six states were ranked “good” and 24 “generally good.”
Full Article: AFP: Voting machines remain a worry in US election.