Letter to the editor
Regarding the voting fiasco: I think the only reason voting has not been
automated before now is because the companies providing the paper ballots
were making too much money (and probably sharing it with those in a position
to change the system).
I think every registered voter should be provided a user ID, a personal
identification number and a verifier (such as mother's maiden name) for
one-time use in voting online. Registered voters should be able to vote
either from home or at a designated polling place. Once a user ID and PIN
are used, the software should reject any further attempts to use them — preventing duplicate or fraudulent votes.
If the system rejects a voter's initial attempt to vote (indicating
a possible fraudulent vote cast by someone else), then the voter should
be able to go to a polling station and verify his or her identity, user
ID and PIN, and have any prior vote made with that user ID and PIN nullified.
The voter would then be able to cast his or her vote on the local machine.
The supervisor at each polling place should be able to nullify a vote only
when the verified voter has independently input his or her verifier word
By the way, I am a programmer, so I know that it is possible to do all
this. What I haven't figured out, though, is what to do when people forget
their PIN and/or user ID.
Name withheld upon request