Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hello, Computer!

Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg, who has been monitoring the state's ability to meet deadlines to retrofit electronic voting machines with paper printouts, yesterday urged the Attorney General's Office to appoint an advisory panel of computer experts for voting machines.

Feinberg is monitoring whether the state can meet a January 2008 deadline to retrofit electronic voting machines with paper printouts that voters can verify, and which can be recounted if discrepancies arise.
Activists claim some 10,000 Sequoia AVC Advantage machines used by 18 counties were never properly inspected, are not secure, and should be replaced by optical scanners that count paper ballots.
Voting machines now are approved by three volunteers who are not required to be computer scientists, and who lack legal authority to compel vendors to divulge their computer code. New Jersey laws governing this process predate electronic voting by decades.

It's pathetic that the people who pick our computerized electronic voting machines are not required to know anything about computers. Also, quite frankly, it shows- otherwise we would have had a paper trail long before now.

The Attorney General is planning to propose updates to those old laws. Let's hope it's very soon.