Sonia Arrison

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Sonia Arrison is director of technology studies at the Pacific Research Institute, a "free-market" think tank and the co-author of "Upgrading America's Ballot Box: The Rise of E-voting." [1] [2]

Arrison has been a vocal opponent of moves to require electronic voting (e-voting) machines to print a paper receipt for voter and auditor verification of election results. She told the San Francisco Chronicle, "We're moving in the wrong direction. ... The whole point of e-voting is to move away from paper." A Pacific Research Institute paper co-authored by Arrison states, "Passing sweeping laws ... to require voter-verified paper trails for touch-screen machines, though well-intentioned, could bankrupt cash-strapped counties and may erode the efficiency of electronic voting management." [3]

In a commentary for TechNewsWorld, Arrison wrote: [4]

Concerns about making computers reliable are valid, but deploying that fear to block the use of e-voting machines, as some activists have attempted to do, is wrong. An MIT study by political scientist Charles Stewart showcased the proper way to frame the issue.
The study, which examined the use of e-voting machines in Georgia, asked whether the machines performed better than the collection of older voting technologies the state used before. The answer was yes, because the machines decreased the number of "lost" votes and increased the power of democracy. By looking to see whether e-voting machines were better than old technology, not whether they were perfect, Professor Stewart's research helps those truly wishing to improve the nation's electoral system

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