This letter is in regard to your Nov. 6 story "No Vote of Confidence for E-Voting." You point out that the officials responsible for the e-voting snafu are not IT-savvy and therefore couldnt see the problems with the systems they purchased. But theres no such excuse for the flawed systems developers.
The question that puzzles non-U.S. observers is why any kind of machine is needed to hold an election. Here in Canada, I have worked as a poll official on federal and provincial elections. My poll clerk and I seal the empty ballot box at the start of the day and never leave it unattended.
Due to our constant surveillance, its impossible to stuff the box, but, even if that were to happen, it would be obvious because the false ballots would lack my signature, and the number of ballots would exceed the number of stubs.
At the end of the day, my poll clerk and I open the box and count the ballots under the close scrutiny of the candidates representatives. We immediately give the results in writing to the candidates representatives and telephone the results to the central reporting office for the district. This system uses nothing more complex than a pencil.
Surrey, British Columbia