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I'd emphasize a few points:

  1. The decisive question is not whether there has been massive fraud: The mere plausibility of massive fraud highlights the unacceptability of deployed electronic methods. They must be rejected.

  2. Voting with paper ballots, hand-counted in a well-organized open process, is a well-established, debugged method. It can give prompt results, etc. (See the rules for hand-counted voting in Canada.)

  3. Compared to paper ballots, there is no all-electronic alternative that can provide a remotely comparable degree of confidence and transparency. "Efficiency" is of insignificant importance.

A primary focus on whether or not there has been fraud in a particular instance can distract from the more fundamental point. Solid evidence should be presented as such, and would be (should be?) explosive. Weaker evidence should be used only to make point (1). Competent fraudsters would make sure that the evidence against them is ambiguous, and we've seen how ambiguous the statistical evidence can be.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 03:31:23 PM EST

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