27 March 2006

Author argues elections bigger gamble than slots

In Nevada, paper trail backs up electronic voting equipment

Las Vegas Review-Journal - Mar. 27, 2006

An academic researcher has concluded that Las Vegas slot machines are more trustworthy than electronic voting machines.

Steven F. Freeman, a University of Pennsylvania professor working on a book about elections, "has assembled comparisons that suggest Americans protect their vices more than they guard their rights," according to the Washington Post.

Among the contrasts, Freeman contends: The state of Nevada has access to all the software that runs slots, but voting machine software is a trade secret of the companies that produce them.

Slots may be surprise-inspected by gaming regulators at any time, while election machines aren't required to be checked.

Slots are certified publicly by an independent public agency; voting machines are certified by for-profit companies paid by the machines' manufacturers, and information on the process is not public.


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