The Voters Assistance Commission always has to hold the confidence of the large numbers of voters as the primary consideration in selection of new voting equipment. The disillusionment of ordinary voters with the highly questionable results of recent elections held with new high technology voting machines is of utmost concern.
As the process of voting is moved into the “modern electronic age”, the transparency and ultimate verification of the actual vote becomes further removed from the average citizen. This in itself will jeopardize public confidence.
The opinion of the leading experts in computer technology, from David Dill, Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University who has studied the applications to new voting machines to Ed Felton of Princeton University has said that mischievous code can easily be configured to “disappear” after it does its damage without leaving any trace that it altered the results. If you ultimately try to play “catch-up” with a hacker who can use new variations when old ones are discovered, you lose voter confidence, whether you catch the hacker or not.. This is a horrible waste of resources to vainly try to maintain the integrity of the basis for trust in democracy.
The voting machine manufacturers, particularly Diebold and ES&S have disclaimed any warranty of efficacy of their implied warranty as in most other product sales. The product is not guaranteed to count the votes correctly. Furthermore, the companies force the government purchasers to join them to oppose any court proceeding by the aggrieved citizenry to gain any access to the proprietary software and materials used in the election. This officially puts the validity and integrity of the elections in a “no questions asked” territory where the trust of the electorate is completely ignored and even made an inconvenient nuisance to be opposed by government with its rights of sovereign immunity.