Contrary to many of her opponents – some of whom have become latter day converts – Barbara Simons knows her stuff when it comes to computers.
Understanding much better than the rest of us of the frailty and stunning hackability of inherently flawed electronic voting machines, Ms. Simons is certain “paper and pen” ballots are the only way to go. She is an expert to listen to.
Read this remarkable piece about the power of one, from the ‘Atlantic’ which relates rare perseverance and lonely determination to guarantee America will regain an honest and accurate voting process.
Our modest farming town of Bridgewater, Maine, population 610, like a lot of small towns, carries on and goes mostly unnoticed. However, Bridgewater stands ahead of the curve and WE HAVE ALWAYS USED PAPER BALLOTS. America, feel free to call for directions. Jim
“Simons, who is now 76, had been a pioneer in computer science at IBM Research at a time when few women not in the secretarial pool walked its halls. In her retirement, however, she was coming off as a crank. Fellow computer scientists might have heard her out, but to the public officials she needed to win over, the idea that software could be manipulated to rig elections remained a fringe preoccupation. Simons was not dissuaded. ‘They didn’t know what they were talking about and I did,’ she told me…
“Simons was called a Luddite. At times, she was treated as just short of raving. At a League of Women Voters convention, she took a turn at the microphone to challenge the league’s president. The moderator tried to yank the mic from her hand…
“‘It’s not that I don’t like computing or I don’t like computers. I mean, I am a computer scientist,’ she said. ‘Many of the leading opponents of paperless voting machines were, and still are, computer scientists, because we understand the vulnerability of voting equipment in a way most election officials don’t. The problem with cybersecurity is that you have to protect against everything, but your opponent only has to find one vulnerability.'”