] So we were stupid to expect this thing to work as
] planned. Except that as far as I can tell, there wasn't
] really a plan. Here's what I think happened. This is,
] unfortunately, far too common in the IT world. After the
] last presidential election, there was a government outcry
] for an electronic voting system. Firms like Diebold who
] make ATMs, check out systems and kiosk systems said,
] "Hey, we can make a voting machine out of one of our
] products." That was probably the total extent of
] thinking and requirements put together by the government
] agencies and the vendors.
] In the case of this voting fiasco, there was a wonderful
] confluence of events. There was a vague product
] requirement coming from an agency that doesn't really
] understand technology (the U.S. Congress), foisting a
] system on other government agencies that may not have
] asked for it. There was a relatively small time frame
] for development and a lot of money. Finally, the
] government did not allow for even the notion of failure.
] By 2004, darn it, we'd all have touch screen voting.
cringley weighs in...
PBS | I, Cringely . Archived Column