The longer, the more I work with computers, the less I trust them. Next Wednesday is election day over here in The Netherlands, so it’s all about voting – and voting computers – in the newspapers over here every day.
Some people, who know a lot about it, come and tell that there’s nothing wrong with our voting computers, and that they’re much more reliable than the red pencils. Even though in a number of cities in Holland the red pencil is the preferred way of voting next week, because of problems with the machines.
I know some people, who have been volunteers on election day for years, and who admit that every once in a while they miss one vote during the final count at night, even thoughthey’ve been following all protocols and procedures all day. The Dutch Diebold people – company named Nedap – point out that a voting computer wouldn’t miss a vote, but then again, these stories are only told by either the people who make and sell the Nedap machines.
It’s not that difficult to fin other opinions about voting machines. Go Google, search for ‘fixing voting machines’, and you won’t be ready reading what you find before November 22. Search for the name of ‘Ron Gonggrijp’, who will show you what can go wrong with our Duth voting machines.
I know I have to use another huge ‘but then again’ over here: but then again, this is the Internet, which makes it so easy to find things, but so difficult to decide what’s right and what’s wrong.
Internet or not, America is the superlative of a lot of things. Also over here: if you do a Google search for ‘Diebold Voting Machines’, you’ve got enough reading stuff for the rest of your life, before you can make a choice between pencil or machine.
For real voting devotees – everybody who enjoys the privilege of voting in a free country should be a voting devotee – there’s HBO. Even well known in The Netherland as the producing channel of the Sopranos and Sex in the City, but also the makers of wonderful documentaries.
Like ‘Hacking Democracy‘, and after watching that one might conclude it’s better to stick to red pencils until the end of time.
You will find ‘Hacking Democracy’ also on Google Video. Take your time, almost an hour and a half, look, listen, and wince.