Thursday, January 3, 2008

St. Mary's Co, MD, to Test Voting Machines

The Washington Post reports that the St. Mary's County Board of Elections will test their voting machines the morning of January 18th. If the goal is to demonstrate to the board that there are no glaring logic flaws, then the test has some value. If the test is intended to allay public concerns about the accuracy and security of voting machines, it's of no value--actually negative value since that would be a misuse. Observing the behavior of the machines now does little to ensure the behavior of the machines in November.
  • They could be compromised between now and then.
  • Some fraction of the machines could be compromised now by a root kit or some such.
  • There's still no way to do a recount in the presence of allegations of irregularities.
  • Allegations of irregularities, even if false, have face validity because the process is closed.

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