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MD's e-voting woes

It was election day here in the DC metro area -- elections in Washington, D.C., such that they are -- there's still that whole taxation without representation thing -- and also in Maryland.

And there were reports of voting problems in Maryland yesterday, although, according to the WP, most of them were user error.

Election Workers' Error Blocks and Delays Voters [WP, 9.23.2006]

The most basic of human errors threw Maryland's primary election into chaos yesterday: Someone forgot the wallet-sized plastic cards needed to operate the voting machines in Montgomery County, frustrating early morning voters who lined up outside polling places and often were turned away without voting.

Courts ordered polls to remain open an extra hour in the county and in Baltimore, where at least two dozen polling places opened late, but it seemed doubtful that the extensions would resolve the confusion.

Of course, given the age of most of the people who work at the polls, the fact that there was user errors with e-voting systems shouldn't really be all that surprising. It isn't the most tech savvy group. And, from what we've read, they were given little training.

Shockingly enough, more than six years after the 2000 election nightmare, there is still debate going on about e-voting. I'm an e-guy, so I think it is a great idea, but I don't get why they don't have some kind of paper back-up. I hear the arguments, I just don't understand them.

Note: Updated to further explain the 'given the age' comment.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Sep 13, 2006 at 12:15 PM


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