Re: Left off the ballot?

From: Steve Chessin <steve_dot_chessin_at_sun_dot_com>
Date: Wed Apr 14 2004 - 20:53:29 CDT

>From Wed Apr 14 06:53:08 2004
>From: "Douglas W. Jones" <>
>Subject: Re: [voting-project] Left off the ballot?
>Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 08:54:27 -0500

>Here is what a voting system can save:
> An audit log showing when the polls opened, when it was enabled
> to allow a voter to vote, when that voter cast a ballot, when
> the polls were closed, and when the final totals were printed.
> This log will also include records of switchover to battery
> power, time powered up, time powered down, and other significant
> events.
> Every ballot cast.
>What you don't get to replay is:
> The order in which a voter made selections, including select, deselect
> reselect sequences as the voter composed their ballot.
> Which ballot was cast at what time.

I don't understand why you cannot replay the order in which each voter
made their selections, as long as you can't replay the order of the
voters themselves.

Related to that:

>From Wed Apr 14 11:28:55 2004
>From: David Mertz <>
>Subject: Re: [voting-project] Security issues beyond ballots
>Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 14:27:43 -0400

>For the basic attack, imagine hiding in the building across the street
>from a polling place with a video camera, and taping every voter who
>enters (in order). That's a base-line sequence. Now I recognize that
>if there are multiple VESs, the correlation between polling place entry
>and VES sequence isn't complete, but it can narrow things down.

>Going beyond the basics, you can reconstruct individual votes much more
>accurately with by using voter-collaborators. Suppose you send in a
>voter each hour of voting, and that voter votes in a -distinct- fashion
>that is easy to recognize (maybe a pattern of choices, maybe just use
>of a write-in vote, which is infrequent among voters in general... and
>if you know an exact write-in name, probably unique). Maybe your
>collaborator votes on a specific VES, or on a VES determined by an
>algorithm (if there are X people in line..). This on-the-hour vote
>partitions the sequence problem into, say 12 distinct simpler problems
>(if there are 12 hours of voting). Moreover, your video camera has a
>time display too, so you've narrowed entry times.

I understand that the video tape gives you the sequence of voters.
But if the log only contains the sequence of touches from each voter,
but randomizes the order of the voters, how does that help you?

Let me use a specific example. The video captures three voters (A, B,
C) entering a precinct with one machine. They enter in that order,
about ten minutes apart (it's a slow time). There is one race on the
ballot, an at-large city council, four seats, seven candidates. The
candidates are listed in the order Tom, Dick, Jane, Wendy, Harry, Sue,
Bill. Each voter makes their selections as follows (~X means X is
        A - Tom, Jane, Harry, ~Harry, Sue, Bill
        B - Tom, Sue, Bill, ~Tom, Wendy, Dick
        C - Bill, Harry, Wendy, Dick

When I replay the log, I get this:

        Voter: Tom, Sue, Bill, ~Tom, Wendy, Dick
        Voter: Tom, Jane, Harry, ~Harry, Sue, Bill
        Voter: Bill, Harry, Wendy, Dick

How does that log help me figure out who A, B, and C each voted for?
Even if B is a collaborator, how does that help me decide which
ballot is A's and which is C's?


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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:06 2004

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