Re: Left off the ballot?

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Thu Apr 15 2004 - 15:50:08 CDT

On Apr 15, 2004, at 3:57 PM, David Jefferson wrote:
> The DRE software could reverse two propositions on the ballot
> IF they carefully compare it to what is shown on screen, this hack is
> in principle detectable.

My attitude towards subtle GUI ballot alterations of the sort David
Jefferson has observed is twofold.

I expect, in practice, the real guard against such alterations
occurring will be the inspection of the source code used in OVC vote
stations (and the signing/hashing procedures used in delivering the
code to machines). I don't think very many voters will actually make
careful line-by-line comparisons of printed instructions with the GUI
screen.

However, I also feel that it is important for voters to HAVE THE RIGHT
to make such line-by-line comparisons. This is part of the
transparency we introduce into the voting process. Just like most
voters won't actually read the source code, they also won't look for
most in-principle detectable errors. But the fact voters are ALLOWED
to do all these things helps inspire confidence that we have nothing to
hide. Like I wrote elsewhere, most citizens also don't read the laws
governing them--but it's still important that they have the right to do
so.

---
Keeping medicines from the bloodstreams of the sick; food
from the bellies of the hungry; books from the hands of the
uneducated; technology from the underdeveloped; and putting
advocates of freedom in prisons.  Intellectual property is to the
21st century what the slave trade was to the 16th.
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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:07 2004

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