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Digital Technology and Voting

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, February 14, 2008

Digital technology and voting. The going is slow. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. When it comes to trusting digital technology, many or most of us seem fine with shopping online and banking online. But when it comes to being comfortable with digital technology in the voting booth….it seems there are lots of hang-ups. At Premier Election Solutions…a wholly owned subsidiary of Diebold…best known perhaps as a maker of ATM machines….Chris Riggall says….

"I think part of it is mistrust with technology. I think there is something very tangible about having a ballot that, one, interacts with, that is on paper. Electronic voting has many, many attributes, not the least of which, it's the most accurate really, in a lot of respects. But there is sometimes the question with the voter …where did my vote go? I touched the screen. It says it took it. But I didn't interact with it in the sense of a piece of paper, a tangible expression that I put into a ballot box or I put into a scanner. So I think it's part that. I think we're in a highly polarized political environment now where every small issue as it relates to the elections process can be inflated into a controversy."

So…despite the advantages of accuracy…speedier recounts…and tabulation of results… there is no rush to change. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.