In a post on election day, I suggested that we put Bruce Schneier in charge of the national election process here in the US. His recent post on why electronic voting is currently broken, and how to fix it, is among the most succinct I’ve ever read. Here’s a sample:
We need to start treating voting software like we treat any other high-reliability system. The auditing that is conducted on slot machine software in the U.S. is significantly more meticulous than what is done to voting software. The development process for mission-critical airplane software makes voting software look like a slapdash affair. If we care about the integrity of our elections, this has to change.
He breaks down the issues with voting in general, the specifics in regards to electronic voting, and makes suggestions on how we can improve said e-voting in the future (since it is apparent that we will be headed that direction whether or not it’s best). He says that everything comes down, more or less, to two propositions:
1. We need paper trails for audit purposes.
2. The software in question must be open source.
No surprises here…now can we make it happen?