Sunday, October 24, 2004

The Home Stretch

The home stretch. It seems a bit surreal. So much, so much hype is poured into this election season as being a momentous pivot point in the history of the U.S., even the world. It's hard for me to connect my own existence to the larger-than-life story of this year's election. Nobody really has any clue what will happen on Novemeber 2. It's a total toss-up. The story of November is certainly beyond anyone's capability to predict, if 2000 was any indication.

It's the constant emotional drain of the final stretch that makes software, technology and gadgetry seem so trite and unimportant. I've only been writing a blog for a week or so and already I have no motivation to post anything.

Heard on NPR this morning that the Clark County campaign has come to an abrupt end; too bad. It was a nice idea that apparently wasn't managed well enough and succumbed to getting opened up to too wide an audience and some bad publicity.

The Times' editorial today (also reported on Slashdot) finally brings into the mainstream something that I've contemplated for many months, the idea of open-sourced voting software. To briefly quote the editorial:

Mandatory safeguards, including a paper trail, for electronic voting. Election officials like to say that electronic voting is as secure as it can be, but that is false. Nevada regulators, for example, impose far more stringent checks on slot machines than any state does on electronic voting. Congress should impose much more rigorous safeguards, including a requirement that all computer code be made public. It should require that all electronic machines produce a voter-verified paper trail.

Thanks, NYT.

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