All this talk of secrecy and abuse of power reminds me: early voting in my precinct was done with electronic voting machines.

When I heard about this, I wrote to Mike Ertl, the Supervisor of Elections through his website. I explained that I'm a programmer, and that without a voter-verifiable paper trail I considered electronic voting to be equivalent to disenfranchisement. (Luddite, I know.) I asked him to indicate which electronic voting machines we'd be using, and to explain why we changed when the current scantron sheets have been working so well.

Predictably, I received no response whatsoever. Gee, my government officials are SO accountable.

Now I find Diebold reduced to name-calling when their machines are demonstrated to be insecure yet again. In my opinion, this is another example of an abuse of power made possible by secrecy: the source code is a secret, so Diebold doesn't have to make it secure. They can just make claims.

At some point, I expect that marketing and propaganda will not sway the opinions of legislators. However, legislators will never look any farther than the majority of the constituents that elect them. So this will all become simple as soon as the American public gets smart enough to ignore marketing and propaganda.

We're doomed.