Electronic Voting: Truthiness in Democracy

State: E-voting open to hacking – The Californian / North County Times

There is no shortage of evidence that electronic voting is totally unreliable. Nevertheless, two UC Santa Barbara computer scientists demonstrated yet again that electronic voting systems are easy to hack and to manipulate. In this instance, the Riverside County, California, electronic voting system was compromised by the researchers in many ways. This paragraph sums it all up:

A team of computer scientists hacked into the Edge II touch-screen systems used in Riverside and a dozen other counties, according to a report released Friday. The report laid out eight ways the system could be infected by rogue software capable of changing votes, including seven ways the team said it had successfully tested this summer on the actual Edge II systems manufactured by Sequoia Voting Systems.

Conservative dogma and conservative ideology seek to counteract change, by definition, because not all change is good. It is baffling, then, why people who seek to change from paper voting to electronic voting despite the oceans of evidence that this is a horrible, unproductive and disastrous change insist on calling themselves “conservative”.

Change is part of nature, indeed, part of life. However, not all change is good. The greatest virtue of conservatism is in its opposition to changes that deteriorate the status quo, changes that erode moral values, that compromise human dignity and that reduce individual autonomy. The notions that pass for “conservatism” in the United States at the moment advocate the erosion of moral values, the destruction of human dignity and the elimination of individual autonomy. In as much as “conservative” support for faulty electronic voting schemes reflects the conservative moment in the United States, American “conservatism” is precisely the “liberal nightmare” that the movement is constantly lambasting and claiming to avoid.

Irony, it seems, is a word and emotion that still eludes the American lexicon and psyche.

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