NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

GAMBLING VS. VOTING

June 15, 2004

State oversight of electronic gambling machines is far more stringent than for electronic voting systems, says the New York Times.

For example:

  • The state of Nevada has copies of every type of gambling software used in the past five years, and casinos cannot use software not on file; electronic voting machine makers have resisted sharing their software with states that buy their machines.
  • Gambling machines are constantly spot-checked by board inspectors, but unannounced spot-checking isn't required for electronic voting.
  • Gambling machine standards are updated frequently; for instance, all machines must work when subjected to a 20,000-volt shock. Electronic voting machines still operate on standards from 2002.
  • Companies that want to make slot machines must pass a background check of six months or more and must register their employees with the Gaming Control Board; there are no such requirements for voting machine manufacturers.

Furthermore, when a gambler has a dispute about a machine, he has a right to an immediate investigation by the Gaming Control Board, which has investigators available around the clock. If a voter has a dispute about a voting machine, he can only call the board of elections and is not guaranteed an investigation.

Source: Editorial, "Gambling on Voting," New York Times, June 13, 2004.

 

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