The Early Days of a Better Nation

Wednesday, October 15, 2003


The Independent yesterday (Tuesday 14 Oct) carried a long investigative feature by Andrew Gumbel on touch-screen voting in the US. It's good to see this scandal moving out of the blog world (see left, especially Avedon and Charlie) into print. The people who need to know about it most aren't necessarily likely to read blogs.

I find the whole thing almost literally unbelievable. How the hell can a great nation hand over control of its voting, for crying out loud, to corporations? Corporations who are deeply partisan? And deeply interested in the outcome of the elections? Hello? Some of them run by people who believe in theocracy? WTF?

Touchscreen voting with no verifiable paper trail is to real voting what McJobs are to real jobs. You don't have votes, you have McVotes.

This is something that you wouldn't put in a science fiction novel, unless it was a blatant knock-about satire - you know, some squib about a world where Mickey Mouse runs for Governor of Florida, or Arnold Schwartznegger for Governor of California. It's too unbelievable. A good editor would call it a plot hole.


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