Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
July 13th, 2003


Voting… the Microsoft way

According to the Associated Press, some Ohio voters will be allowed to cast their ballots online during the 2004 elections, as part of a growing experiment. There’s a catch, though:

Voters using SERVE can register to vote and cast their ballots from any Microsoft Windows-based computer with Internet access.…

[emphasis mine]

I suppose that, after the DoJ settles with Microsoft on antitrust charges, it’s now alright for the government to expand Microsoft’s monopoly. Because this is still an experiment, the data-gatherers need to see how well this works in any browser, on any platform — to reason, of course — or it’ll probably infringe on the equal opportunity rights of a few people out there. And, as we’ve all seen in Fall 2000, a few people can make a big difference.

Also, whenever the topic of electronicizing the voting process comes up, the question of security comes up. The words “Microsoft” and “secure” rarely come in the same sentence these days, except from the PR people at Microsoft. There’s a reason for all that, so I’m glad that the reporter spends roughly half of the article quoting various people who take a fairly skeptical view of this problem.

Well, I’ve had my fair share of FUD for today.