Special Note:  This post was written weeks before the U.S. 2020 election and the resulting legal challenges.  

Glitches can undermine faith in elections

The sad fact of Western democracies these days is that government officials lean on old, faulty technology to offer up speedy — but not necessarily accurate — election results.  

And when election results get muddled due to hacks, ransomware, and sloppy software, the consequences fall on democracy not on the companies that delivered the flawed machines and networks.

As The Atlantic so eloquently put it in their 2018 article, “An Embarrassment of Glitches:”

Individually, any one of the following [voting machine glitch] stories could be forgiven in a country as big as ours. But taken together, they ought to embarrass a wealthy democracy.

Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic Tweet

The article went on to list only 8 examples (there are many, many more) of voting machine glitches impacting election results.  

Changing your vote on the fly

If someone changed somebody else’s actual vote, that would be an offence

Yet here is a video showing a voting machine in Mississippi doing just that.

Why are there no meaningful consequences when a machine breaks the law?

Protecting Democracy

Democracy, as we know, requires “eternal vigilance.” 

Surely regulators could extend this vigilance to the companies that create voting machines to ensure that they are required by law to accurately reflect the will of the people?

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