IT's Role in Improving Elections


I posted an article at ZDNet's Government and Technology blog about the Carter-Baker report on voting:

Former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker released the final version of a bipartisan election reform report today. The two led a 21-member, privately funded Commission that offered 87 recommendations to strengthen the country's electoral system and build confidence in the political process. Of the five primary recommendations, three have implications for government IT.
From IT's role in improving elections | ZDNet Government Blog | ZDNet.com
Referenced Tue Sep 20 2005 12:16:46 GMT-0600 (MDT)

There's been much said of late on eVoting. I find the conclusions in this report to be well-thought out, but I'm troubled by the march to federalizing the election process. Perhaps it's inevitable given its importance, but I'm of a mind that states could do a better job of this and figure this out on their own through some coordinating group like the National Association of Secretaries of State.

As I mention in the article, the most controversial of the proposals is probably the use of Real ID as the sole means of authenticating voters:

While Real ID generally has implications for IT, this proposal just adds to that requirement list. There are, as usual, privacy concerns. Most people don't realize that information about whether they voted or not and in which elections, along with their party affiliation, is a public record in most jurisdictions. This proposal would make that data much more accurate, linkable and transferable between states than it has been in the past.
From IT's role in improving elections | ZDNet Government Blog | ZDNet.com
Referenced Tue Sep 20 2005 12:21:37 GMT-0600 (MDT)

This is the very real danger that any national ID card system, even one cobbled together like Real ID posses. Once you've got a universal identifier, you can link all kinds of information. Even if you restrict the government, someone else will. Soon we'll be correlating whether people vote with the kind of breakfast cereal they eat.