Electoral perils of computers and voting

Re “New ID System May Block Voters,” March 29

I appreciated the important coverage of voters being lost from the rolls in California. Are we going to be the next Florida 2000? In Florida, you just had to share a name with a felon. Now, you just have to have made a slight variation between your driver’s license and your name to lose your chance to vote. And how many of us write our name and address the exact same way, to the letter, every time?

As a computer programmer, I can tell you that there are things computers do better and things computers do much worse than humans. It takes a lot of development and testing time to write an algorithm to check addresses in all their variations. It takes a human being a couple of seconds to make that evaluation. I worry about this trend of relying on technology when I know how many bugs get swept under the rug and not dealt with. Las Vegas gambling machines are more heavily audited than our voting machines. I fear for our democracy if we do not exercise extreme vigilance over the vendors who are touching our elections.



Los Angeles