After a months-long review of California's electronic voting machines, Bowen on Friday placed rigorous security conditions on voting equipment used in dozens of counties and limited the use of two of the most widely used machines.Let's hope the example set by California is followed throughout the United States. Anyone who thinks that our current system of voting is secure from widespread fraud should read What Happened in Ohio.
Friday was the deadline for Bowen to certify voting systems for the early presidential primary in February 2008.
Bowen announced the moves a week after University of California computer experts found that voting machines sold by three companies — Diebold Election Systems, Hart InterCivic and Sequoia Voting Systems — were vulnerable to hackers and that voting results could be altered.
Bowen said the UC investigation revealed some vulnerabilities that would allow hackers to manipulate the systems "with little chance of detection and with dire consequences."
Her review also found that the machines posed problems for disabled voters.
Specifically, Bowen said she had decertified the machines for use and then recertified them on the condition they meet her new security standards.
In a move with potentially wide-ranging consequences, Bowen also limited the Diebold and Sequoia machines to one per polling place — Monterey County has 124 polling locations. Bowen said that would help voters with disabilities cast their ballots while significantly reducing the threat of vote manipulation.
Our democracy relies on free and fair elections. There can be no question as to the legitimacy of our vote.