Update: Henneberger Counters Lithwick
Melinda Henneberger, a consistently thoughtful member of Slate’s XX Factor blog, counters the Dahlia Lithwick article on election fraud which I wrote about yesterday. Henneberger is nicer than I am, but shares similar criticisms. An excerpt:
On the electoral front, Dahlia, your point about sagging voter confidence being self-fulfilling is dead right. But do we boost that confidence by telling African-American Ohioans who waited for hours in the rain to vote in 2004—because Franklin County redistributed voting machines from inner-city polling places where they were in short supply to rural areas where there were too many—that their concerns are “idiotic” or that voter suppression is all in their heads? Every study of electronic voting machines suggests they’re hackable, prone to glitches and easy to upgrade—for a price. (And if ATMs were half as unreliable, wouldn’t we have solved the problem before you could say, “Katherine Harris actually wore that?”) The real question is how much voter confidence is worth to us, since solutions on the cheap haven’t worked that well.
Henneberger also raises the “Chris Rock” argument–that the ATM is too sacred for it to malfunction. Use of an ATM for some is a daily exercise–and while voting may not be, it should be just as routine. More food for thought
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