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Matter of Opinion

A letter to mull over this weekend

Could this idea work?

ATM voting simple, secure
As of 2003, there were over 330,000 ATMs nationwide. There are a number of manufacturers, but in one manner or another, all of the machines are networked. Why should the government buy insecure, unproven touch-screen voting machines that don't even provide a printed receipt when with a minimal amount of effort virtually every ATM in the United States could be temporarily converted into a voting machine for a day?

The process would be simple. Write secure code that would be loaded onto the ATMs. Voters would make a stop at their local polling location, confirm their identity and receive a voting debit card with a private pass PIN (A new debit card can be created in about 2 minutes). They then take that card to any participating ATM, insert card and vote. The machine then provides a printed receipt of the voting transaction. The voting results would be available real-time because all of the ATMs are networked.

The machines are in place; all we need now is the will of our representatives to get the ATM network owners to participate.

Steven M. Osweiler

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