Meanwhile, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has an editorial on the Allen County Election Board’s tough choice with respect to its electronic voting machine vendor, MicroVote, with which I am sympathetic but with which I think I disagree. The election board is between a rock and a hard place, faced with the prospect of violating state law by using uncertified MicroVote machines or violating federal law by using paper ballots, thereby running afoul of laws protecting those with disabilities among others.
The editorial says that the election board is doing the right thing by deciding to use the uncertified machines and take its chances with violating state law. My problem with this analysis is that software certification is critical to the soundness of our democracy. Without knowing what is behind the software, we might as well be going to our polling place to play video games since we have no assurance that our votes are being counted accurately. So, if forced to make a choice, I think the democratically sound decision –even if not the most fiscally advantageous given the federal penalties– is to go with paper ballots.