Wednesday, November 17, 2004

She's Kidding, Right?


Anne Applebaum today suggests that it is okay for us to vote on ATM-style voting machines with no paper record or audit trail, because she often chooses not to take a paper receipt when she withdraws cash from her bank's ATM machine, and even purchases items or pays bills online with her credit card. Anne seems to be confusing the absense of a paper receipt with the absence of an audit trail. The financial transactions she describes are carefully tracked by the vendor, by her bank, by her credit card companies, and by any other affected financial and commercial institutions, each of which have systems in place to ensure that transactions are not lost.

If her point were that it is possible to implement a pretty sound system of verification without issuing paper receipts, there might be some merit to her column. But as it is, she doesn't even understand the issues.

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