This story about an election official in Boone County, Missouri, reminds, again, that we have rushed into electronic voiting without sufficient investment and testing. With only two weeks to the general election, Wendy Noran hadn't received ballots and other supplies for the electronic voting machines the countyIf democracy depends on technology, shouldn't we be investing correctly technology and training? uses.
Only a threat to withhold $1.3 million in payments got a response from the company that sold Boone County the systems. Even then, there is little or no time to train poll workers and test the systems. With less than two weeks to the election, the county is 10 days behind in training and two weeks behind on testing. There is no way to finish and be prepared on time.
So, Boone County has a fall-back plan involving pen, paper and hand-counting.
If democracy is going to depend on technology, shouldn't we be investing correctly in technology and training, rather than slapping the system together at the last moment? No IT manager at a government agency or major corporation would roll out a new system without the kind of technical due diligence that is completely absent from U.S. preparations for electronic voting.